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Easter Sunday

Easter time is almost here!

It’s time to laugh, jump, feel joy, and cheer!

When the day has come they all shall say:

“Praise the Lord, Alleluia! He has risen today!”

Savoring the time we spend with family and friends.

Waiting for the special helper that Jesus the Messiah will send.

Easter Sunday is a time to celebrate and be glad.

It’s definitely not a time to mope around and be sad.

He was killed, died, then rose on the third day.

Christians and Catholics observe this as Easter Sunday.

Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.”
‭‭Luke‬ ‭23:34‬ ‭KJV‬‬

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The Story of Ash Wednesday & Lent

What is the real story about Ash Wednesday? Is it a tradition that man decided to make to observe the beginning of Lent? Is it something Jesus taught about in the Bible? I was extremely curious about what “Ash Wednesday” really is because growing up as a Catholic my family and I always observed by getting ashes on the forehead with a sign of the cross then we would give something up we truly loved for the 40 day Lental period. However I never really understood what this symbolism met nor cared enough to dig deeper into the meaning. Well, now I’m all grown-up and starting to questions about these “traditions” that were instilled in me as a young child by the Roman Catholic Church and family members.

I decided to do my research and this is what I came up with: Ash Wednesday or Lent was not observed in the early New Testament days. Ash Wednesday which marks the beginning of Lent started to be observed by Western Christian Churches and other denominations like Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran Churches. Most of these churches did the cross on the forehead to symbolize penance or the death/ sorrow of sins. It was also customary to give up something you “love” to do for those 40 days of Lent or to give back in some way to society. My family and I would normally give up some sort of food we loved or bad habit for those 40 days, while not eating meat on Fridays. It is also suggested that “Lent” may be connected to early pagan holidays, such as the pagan god called Tammuz.

Ash Wednesday and Lent is a nonbiblical observation even though some people do connect it with the 40 days in the desert that Jesus was visited by Satan and Satan tried to tempt him with ZERO success. See the story of this below: from the Gospel of Matthew:

‘Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John would have hindered him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? But Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffereth him. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway from the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon him; and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ – Matthew 3:13-17

‘Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he afterward hungered. And the tempter came and said unto him, If thou art the Son of God, command that these stones become bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then the devil taketh him into the holy city; and he set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto him, If thou art the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and, On their hands they shall bear thee up, Lest haply thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, Again it is written, Thou shalt not make trial of the Lord thy God. Again, the devil taketh him unto an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and he said unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Then the devil leaveth him; and behold, angels came and ministered unto him. ‘ – Matthew 4:1-11

In conclusion, it is fine to observe this holiday if you would like however keep in mind this is not what Jesus taught us and as a “born again” Christian this is not observed in most Evangelical Christian Churches. My take on Lent is trying to mix some of the good traditions of Lent such as giving up something bad for you in hopes of not indulging in this unhealthy food item or bad habit for good! While remembering that Jesus got baptized by John the Baptiste in the Bible then he when away in the desert He didn’t eat nor drink for 40 days while Satan tried to tempt Him. Of course, we all know that Satan was unsuccessful in doing so which makes Jesus perfect in every way! This just gives me more inspiration to try to be like Jesus more and more each day.

God bless you all on the start of making yourself more like Jesus!

Credit: What Are Ash Wednesday and Lent? Does the Bible Tell Us to Celebrate These Days?

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10 Surprising Facts Your Probably Didn’t Know About Valentine’s Day

Unless you are living underneath a rock or don’t live in one of the countries that celebrate Valentine’s Day I am sure you are 100 % aware of what Valentine’s Day is about. Just in case…Valentine’s Day is a day where it is traditional to show your significant other how much you love and care from them by sharing a small token of your affection on February 14th. Traditional gifts are usually candy, flowers, and/ or
a love note/ romantic card. Some people can’t wait to celebrate while others cringe at the thought of celebrating such a “commercialized” holiday where many companies profit off of the emotions of others. My personal thoughts immediately went to the religious aspect and to dig deeper into the facts behind the celebration of this “love giving” and “love getting” holiday.

red heart on a old opened book
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Here are 10 things about V day you may or may not know:

1. Valentine’s Day was based both on Christian and Catholic traditions (non-biblical). The Catholic Church recognizes at least three saints named Valentius, all of whom where martyred for helping Christians.

St-Valentine-1 image

2. Valentine was believed to defy the rules made up by Emperor Claudis II, which outlawed marriage because he felt like single young men made better soldiers than married ones with families.

3. One St. Valentine was a Roman priest who performed secret wedding ceremonies against the authorities in the 13th century.

4. The same St. Valentine was caught and imprisoned where he healed the daughter of the captor from blindness renewing faith in Christianity.

5. St. Valentine was tortured and decapitated on February 14th as many others who stood up for religious beliefs.

6. Valentine’s Day becomes associated with love starting in the late Middle Ages thanks to an English poet.

7. Another St. Valentine (Bishop of Terni) was also beheaded on February 14th for healing and preforming secret weddings, which were outlawed at the time.

St-Valentine-1 image 2

8. Valentine’s Day was also an effort on the Christian part to do away with a pagan holiday, Lupercalia. This festival was a bloody, violent, and sexually charged celebration that consists of animal sacrifice and matchmaking in the hopes to ward off evil spirits and infertility.

9. In the 5th century, Pope Gelasius deemed Lupercalia (February 15th) as, “un-Christian” and replaced it with Valentine’s Day (February 14th).

10. The oldest known Valentine, which the romance of this holiday didn’t start until around 1400s, was written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife when he was imprisoned in the form of a poem.

Today Valentine’s Day is filled with romantic gestures so it is hard to imagine that this wasn’t always what the holiday stood for. It was actually based on violent barbaric false traditions that Christians tried hard to put a stop too in the name of Jesus. In turn, they were also subjected to harsh imprisonments which in many cases ended in execution. Whether you choose to en-knowledge the commercialized aspect of V day we must not forget the history behind the holiday so we can not repeat the same horrible events and traditions.

If you have another historically accurate fact about Valentine’s Day that most people aren’t aware of please share in the comments. I hope you all had a wonderful, loving Valentine’s Day and weekend with your loved one, family, and friends.

heart shaped candle
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Guidance, Truth, & Love ALL Wrapped Up in One Amazing Book

Many books in the world claim to guide you, tell you the truth while showing love all wrapped up in one. I have read a lot of great books but the one book that promises all of these things and delivers is THE BIBLE aka THE WORD OF GOD. If you never read the bible or even considered this a book you would read I challenge you to give it a try. Even if you don’t believe in God or a “Creator” you should still read this book. It has everything you could want out of a book: history, war, prophecies, love, murder, and more.

belief bible book business
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I started reading THE BIBLE because my boyfriend at the time was amazed by it and he constantly quoted biblical scriptures to me as they applied to a situation in my everyday life. I grew up a strict Roman Catholic (through my families’ traditions) so at the time I refused to read THE BIBLE because I thought I knew best already. That was a HUGE mistake on my part because no human in existence is better or knows more than God, our Creator.

When I started reading THE BIBLE at first I started small with the four gospels in the New Testament: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. That caught my attention and interest quite a bit so I went even further and finished the entire New Testament. This amazed me because it talked about Jesus who He is really, what he did for his people and for us. Well as a “Catholic” I knew about Jesus but I really didn’t know Him or was ever encouraged to try to get to know Him. THE BIBLE truly opened up my heart and my eyes on how amazing Jesus was and still is to this day because He is the one true living God.

close up of heart shape
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Thanks to my boyfriend who is now my husband for loving me so much to open my eyes to the TRUE WORD OF GOD. Even when I would get angry or frustrated and would argue with him multiple times he never gave up on me. We are both Christians and working towards growing our relationship with Christ. THE BIBLE is an extreme eye-opener and all it takes is for you to sit down and start reading. Then when you are done read it again and again and again. Don’t ever stop reading this book. Currently, I am working on the Old Testament and just finished Chronicles 1.

THE BIBLE is the ultimate book and is a MUST READ for everyone whether you are a Christian or not. It is up to you to make sure you know who God is and how to live His way especially if you want to serve Him one day in His kingdom. I challenge you today to give it a try. There is truly nothing you can lose but a whole lot you can gain.

woman holding book
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Start HERE.

God bless you all!

John 8 32 scripture image

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God is NOT Disappointed in YOU He has HOPE

Do you sometimes feel ashamed and think God is disappointed in you? Do you try to hide from Him and shy away from prayer? Well, we all have done and felt this way in our lives but the good news is YOU DON’T HAVE TO!! God knows exactly what you will do before you do it. He knows exactly what you will say before you say it. He knows exactly what you are thinking before you think it. I know this is amazing stuff but don’t be surprised because God can do it all! He is God for a reason, right?

Joyce Meyers reminded me of this in her daily devotional from the bible plan: Promises for Your Everyday Life. See below:

Do you ever feel like God is disappointed with you? I used to feel this way until one day He said, “You know, Joyce, you’re no surprise to Me. I knew what I was getting when I got you.”

Think about it! God knows the end from the beginning, and all the days of our life are written in His book. Every decision we’re ever going to make, good or bad, God already knew them before we ever showed up on planet earth. He already knows today every word in our mouth that is still unuttered, even what we’re going to say a year from now.

Sometimes we go around thinking that God is so disappointed with us all the time. It’s true that we make mistakes. And we’re not supposed to be lighthearted about them, we need to take them seriously. But in spite of our mistakes, God has hope for us and knows that He can change us if we’ll stay close to Him.

God’s not disappointed. He’s full of hope where we’re concerned! He believes in us more than we do ourselves.

Prayer Starter: Lord, Your hope for me is so encouraging and inspiring. Even when I don’t believe in myself, I know that You do, and that gives me the strength to overcome my mistakes and follow You.

‘Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. ‘ Jeremiah 1:5

Jesus is always here to help us and guide every step of the way even if we keep messing up over and over again. The next time you feel shame or disappointment and you feel like hiding from God. DON’T! Tell Satan he is a liar and that you are God’s child. Pray on this over and over! Ask God for his help He will never let you down.

Please share a time in your life where God was there for you even when you didn’t deserve it. Share in the comments below.

God bless you all!

Credit: Joyce Meyers

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Start the Weekend Off Right!!

Let us start the weekend off, Friday afternoon almost 5 pm so you are just about free from work to start the weekend of fun in the sun, relaxation, or both. Let us not forget to give thanks and praise to who is responsible for our existence, God! Many people only pray when they need help, guidance, or in a really big predicament which is great, however, we MUST learn to “stay steadfast in prayer” every day! Whether our life is going amazing or not so amazing we need to always be talking to God through STEADFAST PRAYER!

Here are some simple prayers that you can recite with conviction and sincerity to let God know what you need from Him:

1. Prayer Starter: God I realize temptation is a part of life. Help me not to be caught off guard or surprised when it comes. Thank You for the wisdom and grace to overcome any and all temptations and to live in Your victory.

2. Prayer Starter: Lord, show me the unsustainable areas of my life. I submit them to You. Lead me into Your rest and peace today, so that I can enjoy my life and serve You for years to come.

3. Prayer Starter: God, only Your love can cast out my fear, so I put my faith in You. I know that Your presence is with me and that You will lead me through any fearful situation I face. I receive Your love.

4. Prayer Starter: Lord, Your Word says that a cheerful heart is like good medicine. Thank You for helping me to find the joy and fun in life!

5. Prayer Starter: God, I believe that You love me and that You have given me the power to overcome. As Your child, I will act on the faith You have given me every day, trusting in You and overcoming any obstacle that comes my way.

6 Prayer Starter: Lord, I know that my mouth is a powerful tool that can be used for You or for the enemy. I submit my mouth to You. Show me how to speak Your truth into my life and into the lives of others.

7. Prayer Starter: Lord, I believe You can help me overcome the hurt and pain of my past and use my healing to help others. Help me to experience the love of Christ and make me complete with all the fullness of Your life and power.

If you need any more prayer help feel free to express your feelings in the comments below or just give it up to God! There is no wrong or right way to pray. Just have faith that God hears you.  You can talk to God however way you please. He is always here to help you just have patience in waiting for the answers.

Have a blessed weekend!

Credit: Joyce Meyers Promises for Everyday Life – Daily Devotion Bible Plan

 

 

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How to Deal with the Summer Blues

I love summer but lately, I have been dealing with the “summer blues”. This occasionally happens to me from time to time even though I look forward to this time a year all winter long. The only things that I can do are stay steadfast in prayer and give my troubles to the ALMIGHTY above.

Being a Christian we are continuously trying to be the “light” for others around but this doesn’t mean we aren’t human and still get those “anxious” or “lost” feelings every now and then. The only difference is that we know that Jesus has got this and He is using our troubles times and feelings to make us into something GREAT. By ourselves, this cannot be achieved only through faith, prayer, and guidance from the Holy Spirit we can DO ANYTHING! The tricky part is believing it and everyday training your mind that this is TRUTH. The mind lives to trick us, especially when “the enemy” whispers lies in our ears.

Here are some of my favorite scriptures to conquer those negative thoughts and to replace them with TRUTH from the Word of God:

‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. ‘ Isaiah 41:10 

‘Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ‘ Philippians 4:6-7 

‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. ‘ Philippians 4:13 

‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord , thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. ‘ Jeremiah 29:11 

‘Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. ‘ Matthew 22:37 

‘For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. ‘ 2 Timothy 1:7 

‘Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: ‘ Philippians 1:6 

Write down these scriptures and hang them in a place where you can see and read every day. I can’t promise the JOY of the Lord will come to you instantly (although it might) but over time with steadfast prayer and faith, the Holy Spirit will start to guide you and change how you think which will eventually change YOU for the best you can be!

Jesus has a plan for us all and the more we obey Him and follow his plan for us no matter how we feel or what obstacles we will face we can do it with Him by our side. God doesn’t want you to do things alone He loves us and wants to help us through it all.

If you believe this and you have some encouraging words or scriptures to share please do in the comments below.

God bless you all!