Showing posts with label death. Show all posts
Showing posts with label death. Show all posts

Monday, October 10, 2022

Evidence not seen

This blog is about a year old, but relevant. 

I cannot believe this year is almost over, and Christmas is just around the corner! 

Thanksgiving is not a Romanian holiday, although we do celebrate as a family, and with our American friends in a near by city. It isn’t like we find things to decorate the house with easily etc. The end of October they go straight to putting out the Christmas decor, and some places before that. So Christmas has been on my mind since October, and now it is finally almost here.

Last year, I will never forget the date, November 28th, my dad was hit by a car as a pedestrian. Christmas was very different for us last year, as we weren’t sure for a few weeks if he was even going to make it or not, and we were so far away. I kind of forgot about Christmas. Our house wasn’t decorated. Every day was a sad day of just praying and talking with my step mom waiting for some kind of sign that God was going to do a miracle, and pull my dad through this. Long story short my dad is a walking miracle, by God’s grace and mercy. It has now almost been a year, and while he does still have some brain damage, he is very strong and healing more and more in his brain every day. He is driving, he is talking, and he is going across America with my stepmom sharing the Gospel. 

But all that to say, when I finally realized oh my goodness it is almost Christmas, we had like twelve days before Christmas came. We were not doing the normal ministry things we usually do in Romania for Christmas because of Covid-19, so I had twelve days to focus on just our family for Christmas. One year Chris and I had a twelve day of Christmas for he and I. I wanted to see if there was something simple we could do, and have a twelve day of Christmas count down with the kids. I looked on Pinterest. There are many out there. So I am not the only person who has had this idea of counting down to Christmas twelve days out. I was looking for something really special though, we always make Christmas meaningful and about Christ, but we needed something even more meaningful this year. I found ones that were making twelve days of Christmas for the neighbors. The one I liked the best had printables that said “What my Savior gave to me.” So each day had a printable that said “on the first day of Christmas my Savior gave to me….” I loved the idea. I cannot remember now the website, but I know it was on Pinterest. That to say this was technically not my original idea, but I ran with that one and made it our own. Some of her days I used and some of them we changed up. She didn’t have Bible verses on all of hers, and we wanted every one to have a Bible verse to go with it. We also have a large family with seven kids so we didn’t follow all her gift ideas either. We wanted it to be for our kids and not the neighbors. So we changed the original idea to make it our own. I also made my own cards just using card stock paper. We surprised the kids and everyday they got a gift all the way up to Christmas Day. Then on Christmas Day everyone received one larger gift instead of many gifts. They already had been receiving gifts every day, remember, so they didn’t need more than one on Christmas Day.

Grief has struck again this year, as my brother-in-law passed unexpectedly. It has been really hard on the family, and again we are so far away. We praise the Lord my husband was able to go be with his family during this time. It will be different decorating for Christmas without him, and again has made Christmas just kind of strange. There are so many people grieving this time of year, and it has reminded me why it is all the more important to forget about all the worldly ways of doing Christmas. It needs to be about making memories that will last a life time, the hustle and bustle, and purchasing the greatest gifts is kind of meaningless. We never know what tomorrow brings, and Christmas is the perfect time of year to make each moment with your family special and meaningful, and remind the kids that life isn’t all about us, but about our Savior who came to bring us new life in Him.

Now like I said we have seven kids, and we are missionaries so we don’t have lots of money to give big giant gifts for all the kids. There are very simple and inexpensive gifts you can give to your kids that are way more meaningful, and do not cost an arm and a leg. Some of the days last year we shared a family gift, and some of the days we had a family outing that was free. You can look on Pinterest for lots of good ideas, and I will share the ideas we did as a family, but I encourage you if you decide to do a twelve day count down to Christmas make your own gift ideas. You know your family, and your kids best, try to come up with something that will really mean something to them or you as a family. Make the gifts fit your family, and make them count by being your own idea. 

Alright so what you have all been waiting for, what did we actually do and give as gifts. Well here you go our twelve day to Christmas count down.

On the first day of Christmas Jesus gave to me…. Family and Friendship John 15:12-13 NKJV 12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” The gift we gave for the kids to open was a new family game we bought and as soon as we opened it we played it all together. 

On the second day of Christmas Jesus gave to me….Nourishment John 6:35, “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” For the gift we bought a special bread that is our favorite this time of year and shared it together with homemade spinach dip. We also shared our favorite Christmas cookies. Not sure how we will have our bread this year, as the store that sales them we can’t get into right now because of the Covid restrictions in Romania. Maybe a Romanian friend can help us bake our own.

On the third day of Christmas Jesus gave to me…. Hope. Hebrews 6:19 “This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure, and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil,” The gift we opened was coloring pages of an anchor, the kids each colored one and copied the verse on their paper. We then used them to decorate the house, and kept them up til after the New Year.

On the fourth day of Christmas Jesus gave to me… Creation. Colossians 1:16 NKJV “For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.” For the gift take a family walk on the beach, or in a park, nature walk, and enjoy the outdoors to see God’s creation, but worship Him as the creator.

On the 5th day of Christmas Jesus gave to me….Music. Psalm 89:1 “I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever; with my mouth I will make known Your faithfulness to all generations.” Ephesians 5:19 “Speaking to one another in Psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in Your heart to the Lord.” We watched a live Christmas concert on youtube, but you can buy a music CD or just watch one song to sing together as a family, or make a song to the Lord as a family. These are all great gift ideas, doesn’t cost anything unless you purchase the CD, and a great way to spend time together worshipping the Lord. 

On the 6th day of Christmas Jesus gave to me His word… Psalm 119:105 “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Great gift ideas for this would be to buy your kids their own Bible, purchase a Bible study. Kim Sorgius from has many wonderful Bible studies to purchase for your kids. They come with fun things as well to go along with the studies. She also has many studies and items you could purchase for the first day of gifts to celebrate Jesus giving us family. For this gift we purchased each of our kids a head lamp to represent lighting up their path. They already had their own Bibles.

On the seventh day of Christmas Jesus gave to me… Forgiveness and washed me clean. Isaiah 1:18 “Come now and let us reason together, says the Lord though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” For this gift we bought each of our kids a new bath sponge. 

On the 8th day of Christmas Jesus gave to me… Light. John 8:12 “Jesus spoke… I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” We took a family walk around our city center to see all the Christmas lights. If you do the Bible for the gift of Word, you could give the head lamps or any kind of flashlight for this day as well. 

On the 9th day of Christmas Jesus gave to me… Comfort. Isaiah 49:13 “Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, o earth! And break out in singing, O mountains for the Lord has comforted His people and will have mercy on his afflicted.” Any gifts that bring comfort are a good idea, bathrobes, hats, mittens, cozy socks, hot chocolate, whatever you think of. We did a mixture of these ideas so not every kid got the same thing on this day.

On the 10th day of Christmas Jesus gave to me…Strength. Isaiah 40:31 “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Ok I think this gift was the kids all time favorite. We bought boxing gloves then had a boxing tournament as a family. We laughed so hard. We didn’t have to spend a lot of money we bought just two pair a big pair for the bigger ones and a small pair for the little kids. Even our one and a half year old had a blast boxing with his brothers. But there are many gifts to represent strength. You can purchase small weights and work out together, or a mini trampoline, or save money and do a workout video together on youtube. 

On the 11th day of Christmas Jesus gave to me.. Love. Romans 8:38-39 ” For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” There are so many things to teach your kids unselfish love. You could help at a homeless shelter, or we baked cookies together and took them to our neighbors. Really there are so many things you could do; put together a Samaritan’s Purse shoe box as a family for Christmas. This one takes a little more thought and time, but the list really is endless. The point is to not only show your kids the love Christ has for them, but to share that love with others. 

On the 12th day of Christmas Jesus gave to me…Eternal Life. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son that who so ever believeth in Him should not Perish but have everlasting life.” This gift was a little more tricky as we had to really think of what we could give to represent eternal life. We decided a circle was a good representation of that, so we purchased bracelets for all of us that said “Nimic Fara Dumnezeu” which is Romanian for “Nothing without God.”

As the business of the year has already begun; we are already preparing for Christmas programs at church, having teams come for outreaches, talking about the kids going caroling, and many other things going on, may we not waste the opportunity to teach our kids what Christmas is really about. I love Christmas, it’s my favorite time of year, I love the lights most of all, and decorating, but we can get so caught up in those things we miss what others might be going through. Last year I didn’t know if my dad was going to make it, and this year he is a walking miracle. Also this year my family is grieving yet again. Christ wasn’t just born as a baby He came to give us salvation, hope, and eternal life even through the hard times. Our kids need not to be so wrapped up in “give me give me,” and asking for all their wants, but to understand Christmas is an opportunity to reach out, not only to each other as a family, but to those around you as well. May the brightest light during Christmas this year shine from you and your family. God bless and I wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas season in our Savior. I will probably not write much more until after the New Year, but you all will be in our thoughts and prayers. I will try to get some 12 day of Christmas cards made for you to print off if you don’t have time to make your own, but no promises there. 

Thank you for praying for our family during this time!! God Bless

Friday, September 8, 2017

The Gospel, The Good News 19 of 41

God’s work on My Behalf

On the third day after Jesus physically died, God raised Him from the dead.  By raising Jesus from the dead, God was making known that His death was utterly and completely sufficient to pay the price for every sin that I have committed, or will commit throughout my lifetime. 

1 Corinthians 15:3-4
 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.

Acts 13:30-39
But God raised Him from the dead.  He was seen for many days by those who came up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are His witnesses to the people.  And we declare to you glad tidings—that promise which was made to the fathers.  God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm:
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.’
And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption, He has spoken thus:
‘I will give you the sure mercies of David.’
 Therefore He also says in another Psalm:
‘You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption.’

 “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep, was buried with his fathers, and saw corruption; but He whom God raised up saw no corruption. Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Gospel, The Good News 16 of 41

God's Work on MY Behalf

Because of my sin against God and my helpless state that I am in, I can do nothing, and I am worthy of nothing. But God did it all by sending His Own Son into the world to die on the cross for my sins showing me unfathomable love. 

Romans 5:6
For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

Romans 8:3
For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,

Romans 5:7-8

 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Gospel, The Good News 13 of 41

My sin against God (cont)

Living for myself and thinking I can live for myself with no consequences, I have really shown myself to be utterly foolish. Because of my selfish arrogance God has every right as a righteous Judge to damn me to the eternal punishment of the everlasting experience of His terrifying wrath in the Lake of Fire that eternally burns with fire and brimstone. This is what I deserve because of my selfish, sinful life that I live for myself.  (How is this good news? first I have to realize why I need good news. the plight of humanity- no one is good except God)

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, (but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord).

Revelations 21:8
But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death. 

Ephesians 2:3
among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Hope in Sorrow

1 Thessalonians 1:13-1
13 But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.

Death is a very real part of life that happens to all of us. It is a subject we don’t like to talk about very much as it brings memories of loss and sorrow to the surface. Because it is a fact of life, we are all affected by it.

Just the other day as I opened up to Facebook, I was hit once again with the unexpected tragedy of a family we knew. As missionaries living over seas, and many times out of touch with the lives of people back in the country of origin, it still brings pain knowing that many of our friends are going through this tragedy. We are suffering with them even though it is across an ocean. Pain has no borders. We only wish we could be there to personally share in the grief and be a comforting presence. We know our extended Family is sharing in the grief, and we know it is hard, but we do have  hope. Praising God through the grief that we will one day see our loved ones again.

As a follower of Jesus, Paul tells us that we should not sorrow as others who have no hope. Paul says that if we (and they) believe that Jesus died and rose again, we will see our loved ones again. We have this hope. Yes, we do sorrow, but with hope. We miss seeing those we love that have passed into eternity, and we can look forward to seeing them again.
15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

A friend wrote this on a blog: How do we still our shattered hearts?

With the Word. Psalm 46 is a great place to camp out during any time of trouble to focus on Who God is:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble (vs.1 ESV).

Because God is our refuge and strength...

Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. (vs. 2-3)

The weight of grief can feel like the earth is giving way under our feet, that our sorrow is more than we can bear, like we are drowning in the roaring foam of the sea. But, our God is here holding us up and giving us strength, courage and grace in the midst of it all.

As we still our broken hearts, may these words of our heavenly Father bring comfort, peace, and strength:

"You are My servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off"; 
fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
 I will strengthen you. I will help you, 
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, 
"Fear not, I am the one who helps you"
(Isaiah 40:10, 13 ESV, emphasis mine).

With a broken heart, I cling to Christ.      Read the full article at: When Life Hits Us Hard, God Hugs Us Tighter

Friday, March 28, 2014

Whose fault is it?

John 9

 Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was blind from birth.  And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

When something bad happens to somebody there are those who ask questions about where one went wrong. What law or laws did one break? Why is one suffering? Why has this tradedy happened?  They want to tell why one is in this situation. They are quick to tell what one did wrong or what might have done wrong. They are quick to point out one's sin and tell what one did wrong. 
Then there are others who are not so interested in why one is hurting, but on how to help take away some of the hurt and pain. 
John 9:1-5 
The disciples asked Jesus who had sinned, this man or his parents. He had been born blind and they wanted to know who'se fault it was. 
Was this some kind of punishment from God on the parents for thier sin, or is he suffering for the sins of his father?
The disciples wanted to know who was to blame. 
Jesus's answer was neither this man or his parents. His blindness was not a punishment for some sin.

When things go wrong we are quick to blame God. we look at it as some punishment from God. Too often we think that God is punishing or judging us. 
The women caught in adultry that was brought to Jesus. The Pharisees were quick to blame her and stone her. What was Jesus' response? He told her to go and sin no more. Jesus did not cast judgement. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. God sent His Son into the world not to condemn the world, but that through Him the world might be saved. 

Why do we look at human punishment as punishment from God? 
There are certain things we do that carry natural consequences. God warns us about doing certain things because He loves us and knows the pain that they can bring.
A child is playing around the soba and the parent warns him not to touch the soba. If he decides to touch the soba and gets burned you did not burn the child. You only warned him. It is  a cause and effect. Certain actions bring certain effects.
God does not always warn us what the consequences will be for certain actions. He just warns us not to. 
In the garden of eden, God did warn Adam and Eve and what the consequences would be and yet they did not heed the warning. 

So why was this man born blind?
God had a purpose. God is always working out his purpose in our lvies. Many times what seems like a tradedy is intended by God to be an opportunity for Him to work and be glorified.  Jesus said,: I must work the works of him who sent me."
What was the work of God who sent HIm? 
To heal the man from blindness, and to bring him to a knowledge of who Jesus is.  
The work of God is: to heal, to make wrongs right, to remove the pain and suffering of the world cursed by sin.
God gives us a different picture than what man traditionally gives us.
Jesus had told the Jews, you dont know me or my Faither. If you would have known me, you would have known the Father.
They did not know God or the loving heart of God. They were ready to stone the adulterous woman, Jesus was eager to forgive her.

So how do we react to the tragic consequesnces of human nature?
Do we point and say, what did they do to deserve this or do we rush to help them heal from the pain?
We are not to try to find out the cause of the suffering, but God has called us to minister to those who are suffering and hurting. 
The work of our Father is to heal the hurts of this broken world.

Jesus said Ï am the light of the world". 
The suffering in this world is a natural consequence of living without Jesus. Wanting to live in darkness, wanting to live without Jesus. Wanting to live without the rules that God has put on us. They are not rules that God has put on us but warnings.
God warns us for our own good. 
Jesus is the light of the world, bu man loved darness, because they did evil. 
Now Jesus is no longer here in the world, but his disciples are and Jesus said that they are the light of the world. We are reflecting His light to the world. We must also do the works of the Father.
Works of the Faither are to heal the effects of men who live in darkness and open the eyes of men who are blind to the truth so that they may see the light- that they may see Jesus and begin to follow Him. As Christians we are to share the light of Jesus so that others may see and follow Him.