Getting Ready for Christmas/Easter

IMG_7307Our family does things a bit differently than many. I have never been one that really looks at dates and official holidays.

We celebrate the birth, death and the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. Celebrating Christ in this way was something I have been wanting to do for a long time. Last year was the first year I followed through on it. It was awesome in many ways. There are many positives when it comes to observing the birth, death and the resurrection.

Financially it has been positive. I have two adult daughters who has families. My daughter Beckiah would go to her in-laws home and then come to ours. They would be stuffed and I am sure out of duty, they wanted to make sure to spend time with both parents. With moving our celebrations to Easter Sunday, it gave her a chance to not worry about making everyone happy. Christmas shouldn’t be about guilt and having to put off paying bills in order to get gifts for everyone. That isn’t what Christmas is about. This was the perfect time to try it out to see how things would go. My grand-kids love it. They get two Christmas’s since we put our tree up and they get gifts. All the ornaments are based around the birth, death and the resurrection of Christ. The tree is called a Chrismon Tree. The most important purpose though for moving it to Easter Sunday is that Christ wasn’t born on December 25th. By us doing it this way, the focus is 100% on Jesus.

In Christianity, Christmas is an important holy day because it celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. But the weekend correlating with the Jewish celebration of Passover is the one that makes Christianity unique, and so important to Christ followers.


Today is Palm Sunday and this is Holy week. This week  reminds Christians of the last week of Jesus’ life. He was welcomed as a prophet and wise man into Jerusalem, but by the end of the week Jesus was betrayed by his followers, arrested, scourged, and crucified.

1. The Birth

188718454_origGod sent his only son to earth so that those that believe that he is the son of God and believe that he took our sins upon himself and that he suffered and died for you and me and we accept him as our savior, we are guaranteed to live eternally with him in heaven.

Jesus is the Son of God. In the bible, John 3:16 it says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son. That whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” God saw that no-one was good enough to enter heaven on their own goodness because no-one is truly good enough.

The word “Immanuel” means “God with us” which we see in the first chapter in the book of John.14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14)

2. The Death of Christ

purpose-christ-deathChristians believe that the death and crucifixion of Christ is important because Jesus died in our place. We are born into sin and our sinful nature separates us from God, which leads us to eternal and a spiritual death. When Christ died on the cross, He paid the penalty for our sins in full. Jesus Christ sacrificed his life so our relationship with God can be restored and our spiritual death can be avoided. Christians believe, profoundly, that Christ died for ALL mankind, and accept Him as their personal savior, so to us Holy Week is a time of reflection.

In Romans 5:12-14, 17 it says 12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned – for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.

3. The Resurrection of Christ

ResurrectionThe life and death of Christ matters the most to most Christians because after His death, Jesus rose from the dead. We remember what Easter really is all about. It isn’t about cute bunnies and eggs. The resurrection of Jesus Christ gives Christians the ability to trust in Jesus Christ and have a new beginning in life. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven (1 Peter 1:3).

Since we have changed the way our house does Christmas/Easter we have the awesome opportunity to observe the Birth of Jesus Christ.  On Good Friday, we remember the horrible day that Jesus Christ was betrayed by Judas and put on a cross. He was beaten and died. The last week in the life of Christ and about his death and Resurrection it is important for us to remember. Christ walked out of the tomb 3 days after He died on the cross, celebrate the resurrection of Christ on Easter Sunday and are comforted to be reassured in our own spiritual lives after our flesh dies, we will live forever.

In closing, I just want to say  that Jesus Christ’s life on earth leading to the crucifixion, and more importantly, the resurrection. are the most important observance on the Christian calendar.

Remember that Jesus is the Reason for the season- Christmas, Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Christians Have No Fun— NOT

John-10-10Is the Christian life supposed to be no fun? I would say Absolutely Not. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

The other day, I had a friend of ours come over to the house. I have know this family for over 20 yrs. We knew them long before we moved to St. George. I worked with his wife in Phoenix and I never thought twice about going out to hangout at the bar with friends after work and there wasn’t much that was taboo from talking about. The one bar had a ladies night and they had male dancers. I worked at a truck stop and swearing was nothing unusual.

When my husband and I moved to St. George, I never really thought about how swearing sounded until I was the only one in a room and I got this overwhelming feeling that it was not OK. I call it the moment God gave me a wake-up call and told me I needed to start acting like a Christian and a believer in Christ. Not just in private, but in my words and actions. God put my own words on my heart like a ton of bricks. It was at the moment that I had to make a decision to stop making excuses about going out with friends to bars and swearing like a sailor.

What got me on this topic though is when he said that since I changed, I don’t know how to have fun since I am all about Jesus. It wasn’t in those exact words though. But that is basically what he was saying. He then proceeded to say that it is funner to go out to bars and strip joints than to go to church and be around the kind of friends I have. I am paraphrasing this again. As I thought on this for a split second, I was perfectly OK with what he said. The reason I say that is that he has been able to distinguish the old me and the new me. Ever since I was young, I believed in Christ. My actions and thoughts didn’t always show that I am a Christian and a believer in Christ.

For awhile I was thinking that it is possible that some non–Christians do have more fun. After all sin can be fun.  The things some people in my life look at as fun are not good or right for us. And because of the consequences, the so–called “fun” often ends up not being fun at all

Lies the Devil Tells Us:

  • “The Christian life is a dull one with no fun.” “Christianity if no fun.” “To be a Christian is to be a ‘stick in the mud.’” “All Christians are ‘goody two-shoes.’” To that I say “No fun? By fun you might be thinking of hangovers while sticking your head in the toilet as you throw up all over yourself, sickness, and memory loss?  Not to mention promiscuous tendencies that destroy families?
  • “If I am going to be a Christian I have to give up everything.” I have found that when I  devote myself to God,  He fulfills the most amazing dreams and promises than I could imagine.
  • “Christians miss out on so much”… I would have to say that as a Christian my life is fuller than I could have ever dreamed it could be. I feel for those who don’t understand what that kind of peace and love is.

There is a saying that is well known, “If you talk the talk, then you have to walk the walk.” When I think about what it means to walk the walk I believe that in my life, my faith in Christ requires a strong determination to follow God’s plan regardless what life throws my way. There are times I have had to put on the brave face and the Armour of God and have courage to stand up for my beliefs, even if it isn’t the popular or fun thing to do. I have never regretted doing that. I figure I must be doing something right if those people in my life over 20 yrs ago can see the change and the difference.

My life needed to have a little shake up. I was in need of the wake up call and I needed to get back on the right path. The moment I was forced to look deep inside myself and I wasn’t happy with my own choices, I decided I needed to throw my arms up in the air and surrendered to Him again. Jesus Christ changed my life. I didn’t change my life. Without Him, I would be at the same miserable place I was at before. I just didn’t realize how unhappy I was with my choices in life. God took me on a journey when we moved to St. George. He taught me how to open up my heart and walk by faith.

When someone tells me that I’m not fun anymore because I don’t go out and party, drink and do things that I knew I shouldn’t have been doing, I am perfectly fine with that. I enjoy my life as a believer in Christ. God has blessed me more than any person could. I guess what some see as fun activities aren’t fun for everyone. I enjoy real relationships and friendships. God has entrusted me with some of life’s most treasured moments.

Jesus is looking for those with clean hands and a pure heart, those who will choose obedience even if it costs them everything this world has to offer. He is looking for those who will throw caution to the wind, believe that he has an abundant life (John 10:10) waiting if we will follow his ways.

I thank God everyday for His promises even when it seems there is no hope. Even when my life seems out of whack. God is the One in control. So to those who thinks being a Christian is no fun, I would like to say that you aren’t really living, till you know that you have forever.

Throughout my life and all the journeys to come, I’m waving the white flag of surrender. God is in control of my life and I am more than willing to use it for His glory.

Here is a fun Christian song called “What if Cartoons Got Saved” by Chris Rice.

Harold Has Issues

Some of you may remember that we got a new kitten that we rescued from Ivin’s Animal Shelter. Harold is the sweetest cat. But Harold has issues.

10834898_10203785916585202_3510087066797472487_oWe got Harold when we was 10 weeks old. The shelter instructed us to have him fixed a few weeks after we got him. He was sick with a cold and needed to finish up the antibiotics. He was scheduled to be fixed a couple weeks later. When we brought him home, he wasn’t himself. He was playful before he went in, but afterwards he was having problems.

Harold was loosing weight, falling and having a hard time keeping his balance. I have been extremely stressed over this kitten. He wasn’t wanting to eat anything. He would drink a bit, but that was it.

Harold has been  showing signs of muscle weakness, difficulty in eating and swallowing , there are chances that auto-antibodies are attacking the acetylcholine receptors on muscles.

I took Harold to the vet and they tested him for feline leukemia, infections, worms, inner ear problem and a host of other things. Then the vet came in and told me that he had a type of feline autoimmune disease. It could have been brought on by him just getting over a virus and then when he got his immunizations, it reacted with his antibodies. Leave it up to me to get a cat that has an autoimmune disorder.

They explained to me that with an autoimmune disease is where antibodies are created to work against the body. He didn’t know that I can totally understand the who auto immune thing since I have been dealing with one thing or another most of my life.

Today, Harold has been doing better. We have to watch him when he sleeps with us, because he can’t jump down. He can hurt himself since he falls the way he does. He falls while standing and can’t balance himself at all. As I was reading up on what is wrong with Harold, it was like living in the twilight zone. This is what it says about Harold’s issues;

  • This is symptoms Harold is exhibiting is that of a chronic progressive disease characterized by chronic fatigue and muscular weakness, especially in the face and neck, known as Myasthenia gravis.

The reason I say it was like living in the twilight zone with Harold, is because I have Myasthenia Gravis. I had no clue that animals can get it too. He didn’t specify that it was MG, he used this long word. Then when I googled it, I was blown away. He had the feline form on MG . They say the prognosis isn’t great because of the difficulties they have. Well, God had to have known that Harold needed a family that would understand his special needs.

It all made sense after putting all his symptoms together and what he is doing. He has issues with the light. He can’t focus his eyes and he will go out of his way to look away from the light. The way he walks, bumps into the walls and falls while standing all makes sense.

We could have put him down but that was NOT an option. So , we will just make sure he doesn’t hurt himself and we will make sure he eats foods to help him.

Hate Us For Our Faith

imagesZ5S9VLR0For the most part, I listen to the messages at church. Every now and then, my mind gets to wondering and I make notes to myself, so I can remind myself to blog about a topic or thought.  On this particular Sunday, this was the case. When Pastor Ray does the opening prayer and such and he says in his prayer for our minds and hearts to be cleared and to hear the message, I have to say that I kind of feel guilty when I start making notes so I can cover them later.

This last Sunday the sermon was out of Luke 21:1-19 and the Message is, “For My Name’s Sake” I want to do a post on about how Pastor Ray was talking about how everyone will hate those who proclaim the name of Jesus. I have no problem if people hate me because I believe in Christ.


Luke 21: 5-19 NIV

5 Some of his disciples were remarking about how the temple was adorned with beautiful stones and with gifts dedicated to God. But Jesus said, 6 “As for what you see here, the time will come when not one stone will be left on another; every one of them will be thrown down.” 7 “Teacher,” they asked, “when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are about to take place?” 8 He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them. 9 When you hear of wars and uprisings, do not be frightened. These things must happen first, but the end will not come right away.”10 Then he said to them: untitled“Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. 12 “But before all this, they will seize you and persecute you. They will hand you over to synagogues and put you in prison, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 And so you will bear testimony to me. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers and sisters, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 Everyone will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 Stand firm, and you will win life.

The end times is a subject I take very serious. As I was jotting down my notes, I couldn’t help but think about how blessed I am to live where I do. For the most part, I have never experienced the types of persecutions many brothers and sisters in Christ have experienced in other countries. People are loosing thier lives as I type this blog post out. Every day people are dying for thier faith. For me, the most persecution I get is if someone doesn’t agree with what the Bible says and they let me know that there is no God or they believe in another God. I get hot under the collar on that one.

I can’t begin to understand what those Christians that are being beheaded, hung and murdered because they believe in God and have accepted Jesus Christ as thier Lord and Savior are going through.

imagesRVPJC8J0Here in the United States, I don’t know if we are considered a Christian nation anymore. Political correctiveness doesn’t allow discussions on what it means to live a life that is entirly focused on Christ. There is a firestorm waiting for you for standing up for your faith and for Christ. In the media there have been a number of people or businesses that come to mind when I say that you will be persecuted for your faith. Some of those people would include Kirk Cameron, Chick Fil A, Duck Dynesty and so on. Pastor Ray was bringing up how businesses were being shut down because the owners refused to buckle and do what was against thier beleifs. There has been a number of businessed that have been closed for this very reason.

Humans for the most part have longed to be loved and accepted. When we use the term “hated”, we have a hard time accepting the fact that there are those out there that hate us and want us dead. We are told that the world will hate us because they hate Jesus. Jesus is hated because Jesus is the Light of the world. Since we are beleivers in Christ we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. A world that is dark and filled with sin and our world is more resistant to Christianity than ever.  On social medias I have found that the popular thing is to talk about acceptance and tolerance of other faith, What I find moreso is the true reality is that our world and country is tolerant of anything and everything but not the moral values of Christianity.

  • 1st Peter 4:12-13 says, ? Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when His glory is revealed.
  • Matthew 24:9 Jesus says, ? You will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death and you will be hated by all nations because of Me.

In closing I just want to say is that if we live the way Jesus calls us to live, we will be persecuted. As a Christian, I would hope that people would know I am a beleiver in Christ through my words and actions. I also understand that persecution of one kind or another will come my way. If it didn’t, I would need to examine what it is that I am doing wrong that tells those around me that I am a Christian. Through my own struggles I have had to 120% lean on Christ and my faith no matter how difficult my life gets. At the end of the day, Christ is who has my life in His hands. When we face illness and heartbreak and even death we can be asssured that God and our faith is real.