Monthly Archives: March 2013

Love, Sacrifices and Suffering

 

This is the day He was NAILED to the CROSS.  The day He suffered mightily for all of OUR sins.  The sacrifice that was made for us was BIG.  How can we ever think we are suffering when we consider the suffering that was done for us.

Mary with Sue at Regional

I was reading scripture(her comfort) to her while visiting her in the hospital

My friend Sue who is now in heaven with her beautiful Lord taught me about suffering. She had cancer and she was suffering with this terrible disease, but she NEVER complained one time about her suffering.  What she would say is “how can I not take my suffering when Jesus took on the biggest of all suffering.”  She was a very strong faith woman.  She was a friend to many.  We (family and friends) learned so much from her and are so thankful she was a part of our lives and what she has taught us will live on forever. A wonderful legacy! We miss her so much!

 

I also think about the women I met last week.  Ninety women came together for the common work they do serving the Lord in over twelve countries.  Today I think about the sacrifice and for some of these women the suffering they endured.  Some of them like our main speaker suffered the loss of her husband martyred for sharing His faith.  Others had been held captive and others have had friends who were killed for the same reason.  These women are obedient to the call the Lord has placed on their life. So they sell there belongings and move their family to a strange sometimes desert lands.  To love on these people God has surrounded them with in their everyday situations.  Their passion and love for the Lord and others was so evident this past week (it was truly bubbling out of them) as I was serving in Spain being along side of them for 4 days.

 

So He died on the cross for us, for our sins and our salvation.  His soul knew the agony ahead of him and He anticipated what He knew what lay before Him.  In the hours ahead he would be humiliated and abused, and suffer shame and pain on the cross.  The accounts tell us he prayed many times in the days before that brutal Friday. He would go off alone and pray to be able to deal what was in front of Him in the days to come.

 

“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT

 

For my friend Sue she would be in constant prayer helping her to get through each day until the end of her fight.  (Like Jesus)  She fought hard! It was not unusual to see her in her Bible a couple times a day.  I miss this beautiful woman!

 

Do you accept the love of our Savior who took on all our mistakes, ugliness and all our junk?  He is love.  This Good Friday and Easter Weekend let’s think about the LOVE that he gave us all!  I know for me I feel very undeserving at times of this Love!  He suffered and died for us!  Lord, Your love is better than life!

http://youtu.be/mZeGe1FXVss

 

Enjoy the above link  to “Your Love” a beautiful song about His love for us!

Hoping you celebrate His love this weekend!

Mary

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Easter~Spring Table Setting

 

Today I am sharing one of my favorite things, Tablescapes.  I thought I would share with you how I decorated for Easter dinner two years ago.  As we celebrate our risen King and the BIG SACRIFICE He made for all of us, we gather as a family remembering how special this time of year is to us.  Also with spring making its way on our calendar, (but not in our weather yet) I love how we can use some spring color added into our tablescapes now. I love Spring and it is and has always been my favorite time of year!

 

IMG_4517The plants are from our greenhouse at our store and the basket came from there too. I decided to make this centerpiece for my mother to take home with her.  The rabbits came from a near by store.

 

 

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The dishes all were from thrift shop finds over the last couple of years and the chargers came from Hobby Lobby.  I just love the easter eggs so I treated everyone at the table with them.

 

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I love the spring flowers and it is such a treat after a long winter with no color.

 

I am going to try to link this to Between Naps On The Porch

http://betweennapsontheporch.net/easter-spring-table-setting-2/

and her Tablescape Thursday.

 

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As we go through this week let us remember the significance of this Holy week and Easter.

Have a great time celebrating our King and the sacrifice which was made for all of us!  Happy Easter!

Mary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From Ashes to Beauty

From Ashes to Beauty

From Ashes to Beauty

Do you know that suffering refines our faith?  Do you believe that joy does come in the morning?   If you are not sure about this let me share how joy and happiness can happen for you, if you choose to let the Lord grab ahold of your hand and guide you while being obedient to Him in every way.  If we do not choose His way we can become bitter.  Are you bitter?

Bitter or Better ~ These are the choices we have when we are suffering and going through trials.  Bitter is letting Satan have a hold of you and letting the suffering, grief or trial get the best of you and bring you both physically and emotionally down. Or you can choose better and have hope in the Lord that he will strengthen you and give your more joy and happiness then you could have ever dreamed of. I promise!

Ephesians 3:20

New Living Translation (NLT)

20 Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

I do know both sides, but girlfriend I want to share with you what it is like when we let go of the bitterness and grab of ahold of the better (Jesus’ way). True pure beauty!  God has walked along side me and given me so much joy and happiness.  Let me share that after going through the trials and suffering, I would not want to change back my sufferings.  Yes, I did say I would not change them.  My heart is in a better place today then long ago when I was faced with some great hardship.

My first trial out of the three that I will mention in this story happened right after my second son was born. We found out that he would never hear his mommy talked to him, never hear the birds chirp in the morning. Yes, in my selfish way I would love him to be able to hear.  Honestly though, I know he is happy in his deaf world(deaf friends and culture) and has done a great job of seeking his independence to go to college and graduate with a bachelors degree.  He has traveled all over Europe with a deaf friend, and he has traveled many times on his own too.  He has learned to not let his disability stop him and get in his way of conquering the many desires he has in this life to accomplish.  His determination and successes have taught me so much about my own life and not letting fear get the best of me.

My second and the saddest for me is the loss of my baby son, Tyler Matthew.  Tyler was a gift from God even if I only had him for 8 months.  He was a part of our families future and I now look forward to seeing him soon someday in heaven.  I live with the pain but know he is in such a better place with Jesus and does not have to suffer the sin of this world.  Yes, in my selfishness I would take him back, but that was not God’s plan and I live knowing that I have become a better Mother and closer to the Lord through this journey.

My third trial to mention in this story would be my divorce.  Going through this was tough, for myself but also to see the pain in my boys hearts.

What the future held for me and coming out of this pain and suffering is that the Lord has given me so much more than I could ever have imagined.  He has loved me tenderly through it all and help me see that I needed him more than ever.  So, I grabbed ahold of his hand and took the journey to the other side.  To the majestic side filled with beauty and trust. I am grateful that I died to myself and gave Him my all.  Surrendering fully to Him.  For his plans are greater than mine!

JEREMIAH 29:11 (NIV)

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Yes, I know there will probably be more sufferings coming my way,  I fully trust my God and know that with him in my heart, daily dying to myself and fully surrendering to Him, I know he will love and guide me through it all. I trust Him! He has brought so much beauty from the ashes!

Please understand I do not want to sound like this was a fast and quick process for me.  I was broken and a mess.  These trials happen over several years  and God’s work in me has been years in the making and I know I have lots of work to be done yet in the years to come.   He is constantly refining me, but he has taken my mess and brokenness and shined it up!

While at the conference in Spain we broke down into small groups to talk about suffering and to come up with some Biblical Principles on Suffering. I want to share some of these Biblical Principles on Suffering with you.

God allows trials for our good and His glory

God is always sovereign in our suffering

Suffering refines us and perfects us to give us victory and present us faultless before his throne

We can have a positive growth process with tribulation that produces perseverance leading us to hope

The end is maturity and completeness that allows us to comfort and walk with others going through suffering

I am praying you can find the beauty from the ashes!

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