Religion & Faith


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896673_desert-flower_620  The desert and the parched land will be glad;
the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, 2 it will burst into bloom;
it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.
3 Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
4 say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”
5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
7 The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
8 And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness;
it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
9 No lion will be there,
nor any ravenous beast;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
10 and those the LORD has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away.

Isaiah 35

It is so refreshing to hear – the secular entertainment world say – “having brought God in here it is extraordinary ….we do miss the spiritual dimension.” – #Noemi

Suor Cristina -“Oh Daddy dear (Abba) you know you’re still number one…I want to be the one to walk in the sun.” “When Sister Cristina sings she gives joy, and this is her gift.” – #J-Ax

This is perfect for Easter weekend – the Lord still prevails and will not be silenced.

Happy Easter!

Suor Cristina Scuccia

Suor Cristina Scuccia

Oops…I missed Friday but oh well. Anyway so I don’t speak Italian (but it sounds so cool :-)) I promised a follow-up to Wednesday’s post on the “Famous” Sister from Sicily Suor Cristina Scuccia – who appeared on the Voice Italy on March 19th and quickly went viral with over 36 million views – WOW. But lesser known is her amazing God given voice - “Last year she won a Christian music competition as part of the Good News Festival, in which she explained that she had found her vocation while playing a nun in a musical.”

She truly is the model of and inspiration of what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus – to go out and evangelize. And realizing her call into the ministry came from the most unlikely of places. So do not believe the crazies and the strange stories and accusations that will arise. The Lord knows that we need strong and willing people to connect on a personal level and introduce the grace of the Lord and the Mysteries of the Gospel to the entire world.

While I have Googled for countless hours and days etc…it is hard to find news coverage that I can fully understand – because I do not speak Italian :-) – but basically it is that she is not looking for accolades just to as she put it in (the most thoroughly translated video) “I have a gift and I am giving it to you – Shouldn’t things be this way?”  – Pope Francis (and The Lord) tells us “to go out and evangelize…God will not take anything away from us but instead give us more, I am here for this.” How true that is that we are truly blessed beyond measure or explanation when we serve others by mission from God. And finally…why choose that song you ask? Romans 8 – for nothing can separate us from the LOVE of  God in Christ Jesus – and vice versa nothing can make God stop loving us.

So enjoy and seek the Lord while he may be found.

 

Blessings,
Shari 001

 

If you are still in awe or wonder about this most recent (viral) event… check out the next video link  (1:45 – 5:15) and you will be wowed. (The translation does not make much sense but you could try it.

Enjoy and watch for a Follow Up Friday post.

Many Blessings,

Shariprpl

daily god book So in my quest/decision to choose a new devotional for 2014 – I didn’t need to choose – it was gifted. Yes, a Christmas gift. So I thought,  awesome!!  I love all devotionals that read like Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling books. I was almost tempted to buy another Bible – a One Year Bible this month but I am glad I didn’t.

This devotional – The Daily God Book: A Year of Listening for God by Erin Keeley Marshall – is set up a bit differently; there is a Bible passage to look up (so you must keep the “good book” close by), there is a theme – a message – and finally a prayer called ‘Talk to HIM’ and a thought challenge to carry with you all day long. I just love the set up. But more than that I love how the entire year of the devotional walks through the Bible. It is awesome to see a devotional incorporate the WORD into daily devotions – not just a verse but passages of Scripture. It is so important to rely on the Word of God to meet your daily, monthly and yearly needs. And so perfect for morning, evening or morning & evening devotions. I am so excited to walk this year through the Word, with the help of this devotional.

the-storycvr Also on my list of books to read – this month – is The Story: The Bible as One Continuing Story of God and His People foreward by Max Lucado and Randy Frazee. This was a Christmas present last year and I was hoping to delve into it but better late than never and what a great read to start the year. I hope to be completed by the end of January. So, with all that I have chosen to take on this year – I know God is right behind (beside, before and around) me – I know that He knew that I was hungry to experience and understand more of His WORD, His truth, His Promises – HIS STORY!

I am all set to start 2014 – with gusto and true passion for the Word of God – I am amazed at what the Lord does with productive choices and longings. I know this year will be filled with ups and downs, I know the struggles will come and I know the doubt will creep in – BUT – I am determined to cling to His promises and HIS WORD that I may see the truth I craved last year and beginning this year afresh with the choice to make the Lord the focus of my every day – through this year of walking through the words of truth and grace – I will truly see where I belong, where my place is in His Story as long as I listen to His voice.

I pray this year that I hear Him and hear Him clearly – that I may see the path that He has set for me…
The path of life leads upward for the wise; they leave the grave behind. Proverbs 15:24

“Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it. “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it. Matthew 7:13-14.

Grace and Peace be with you today and throughout this year!
Many Blessings,

Shari

Merry Christmas!!

imagestruth

What is it? Verified facts, evidence, testimony, written words, stories, details…and so on. Facts and statements are why I love the book of Luke – it is truth – it’s backed by other gospel accounts; Luke wasn’t the only one. But I enjoy the “truth” in the facts. To believe in something it first should be true (fact). Bible history is just that, historical fact, believe it or not.  And by faith, conscience, choice, wisdom, compulsion, desire, pedagogy, realization – I believe the Bible to be true. I believe its stories, messages, inspiration, and mystery – the historical redemptive message of TRUTH.

Besides the historical truth(s) – there are those personal truths that God has set on our hearts…You and I have been CREATED by God (Psalm 139), LOVED by God (Jeremiah 31) and REDEEMED by God (Isaiah 43, Luke 2:10, 21:27-28). We have been PROMISED eternity (Ecclesiastes 3:11, John 3:16-18, Revelation 21:1, 5).  

Truth Combined copy

These are just a few of my most treasured passages in the Bible – the ones that speak to my personal journey of faith and truth – from the same “book” that has been esteemed and revered by many cultures for centuries.

My focus this past year has been a quest for TRUTH. Truth about God, truth about my life –truth in promises of God – plans laid out for me, for a specific purpose and long before I was born. It is my (responsibility) choice to seek and accept these truths and purposes for my life.

This is not an ego trip – it is and will be a life long journey. Believing and accepting – the truth –that the LORD God created us with a purpose, loved us and saved us is a hard one to accept. I think the hardest part is that our fear – reverence – of the Lord comes out of feeling as though there is no way that God as powerful and majestic as He is has our best interests in mind. We just don’t hold ourselves as that important to the Creator of the Universe. We ask – I ask – we all ask, why would HE care about us – love us – want to save us enough to die for us? Yet, our minute and meaningless existences are much more purposeful than you or I can ever fathom. We believe the truth, we accept the truth, we are led by the truth and still we are in awe of its glorious mystery…

That is…TRUTH. 

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