Who Will Call Him King of Kings?

Photo by Sean O. on Unsplash

Easter is over for one more year. Now what? Has anything in our lives changed since Sunday in how we respond to that most glorious news; He is Risen! He is Risen indeed? Or are we living pretty much unchanged? Like the disciples we are called to let the whole world know Jesus is the resurrected King of kings and Lord of lords. So how are we doing with that?

Jesus told the disciples to meet him in Galilee after his resurrection. The disciples did just as Jesus told them. There they worshiped him. At this time, before he ascended back to his throne at the Father’s right in heaven, Jesus commissioned the disciples to go into all the world, ALL the world, and make disciples in all nations, baptizing them, and teaching them to obey all the commands Jesus gave them. (Matthew 28:16-20) The disciples went everywhere preaching, and the Lord was with them and confirmed what they said by the miracles that followed their messages. (Mark 16:20)

As Christ-followers we are called to spread the Good News of a Risen Savior who loved us so much he willingly took our sin stain on himself, paid the debt we owed but could never pay, all so none would perish, and could live with him forever. This great commission is not just for the season surrounding Resurrection Sunday, but for every day of our life. Amen?

Who will call him king of Kings?

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 It was not long afterwards that he rose into the sky and disappeared into a cloud, leaving them staring after him. As they were straining their eyes for another glimpse, suddenly two white-robed men were standing there among them, and said, “Men of Galilee, why are you standing here staring at the sky? Jesus has gone away to heaven, and some day, just as he went, he will return!” Acts 1:9-11 (TLB)
 
You can find my April Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well,

Sandy

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Christ is Risen

 

 

Christ Is Risen

by Frances Gregory Pasch

Let’s look beyond the Easter scene
Of colored eggs and jelly beans.
Let’s set our eyes upon the Lord
And feast instead upon His Word.

Let’s not forget that we’d be lost
Had Jesus not died on the cross.
He nailed our sins upon the tree
And rose again so we’d be free.

So let’s sing out in jubilation!
Christ, alone, is our salvation.
Lord and Savior…Counselor, King,
Great Provider…Our Everything.

Frances Gregory Pasch’s devotions and poems have been published hundreds of times in devotional booklets, magazines, and Sunday school papers since 1985. Her writing has also appeared in several dozen compilations. Frances’ latest book, Greater Than Gold is available on Amazon. Her first book, Double Vision: Seeing God in Everyday Life Through Devotions and Poetry, which was published when she was eighty years old, is also available on Amazon. Frances has been leading a women’s Christian writers group since 1991 and makes her own holiday greeting cards incorporating her poetry. She and her husband, Jim, have been married since 1958. They have five sons and nine grandchildren. Contact her at http://www.francesgregorypasch.com.

Very early that Sunday morning, the women made their way to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared.  Arriving at the tomb they discovered that the huge stone covering the entrance had been rolled aside,  so they went in to look. But the tomb was empty. The body of Jesus was gone!

 They stood there, stunned and perplexed. Suddenly two men in dazzling white robes shining like lightning appeared above them. Terrified, the women fell to the ground on their faces.

The men in white said to them, “Why would you look for the living On in a tomb? He is not here, for he has risen! Have you forgotten what he said to you while he was still in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man is destined to be handed over to sinful men to be nailed to a cross, and on the third day he will rise again’?”

 All at once they remembered his words. Luke 24:1-8 (TPT)

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

You can find my April Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Jesus Died So We Wouldn’t Have To

The movie depicted the life of Jesus. The title was King of Kings. Jeffrey Hunter portrayed Christ. Harry Guardino portrayed Barabbas. The scene in the movie where the people cried for the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus is seared forever into my memory. It didn’t matter how fine an actor Guardino was in later movies, I never particularly cared for him because of how good a job he did presenting Barabbas.

During Christ’s interrogation before Pilate, Pilate had a choice. Release an innocent man, Jesus, in exchange for a convicted criminal, Barabbas. Or cave to the demands of the religious leaders and crucify Christ instead of Barabbas. Pilate gave in to the people. 

Pilate had the power and authority to make the decision to release Jesus, but he decided to grant the demands of the shouting crowds. As a result, an innocent man died in the place of a criminal.

We might look at the scripture that recounts these details and think, “That isn’t fair. Barabbas broke the law. Everyone knew it. He deserved to die. Jesus was innocent. Sinless. He did nothing worthy of the punishment he received.”

That’s the way my brain reasoned as a second grader when I listened to the crowds in the movie chant for Barabbas to be released. Tears ran down my face because Pilate didn’t make the right choice. I wanted to tell Pilate, no! You have to release Jesus. You just have to! Don’t release Barabbas. I wanted Jesus to live. I wanted Barabbas to be punished.

But you know what? It could just as easily have been my name that was called out to be released. Or your name. Because, really, isn’t that what happened? You and I have broken God’s law. We know it. Jesus knows it. We deserve to die. We deserve to be punished.

Instead, an innocent man, Jesus, died in the place of a criminal, put your name here.

Jesus took our sins upon his perfect, sinless self. He paid the penalty for the debt we owed but could never pay.

We are the prisoners, the law-breakers, who should die. Instead, we are shown God’s great mercy.

Don’t you want to thank him for that great gift by living a life worthy of being called a Child of God?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

Then Pilate summoned the chief priests, the officials and the people and addressed them in these words. “You have brought this man to me as a mischief-maker among the people, and I want you to realise that, after examining him in your presence, I have found nothing criminal about him, in spite of all your accusations. And neither has Herod, for he has sent him back to us. Obviously, then, he has done nothing to deserve the death penalty. I propose, therefore, to teach him a sharp lesson and let him go.”

But they all yelled as one man, “Take this man away! We want Barabbas set free!” (Barabbas was a man who had been put in prison for causing a riot in the city and for murder.) But Pilate wanted to set Jesus free and he called out to them again, but they shouted back at him, “Crucify, crucify him!”

Then he spoke to them, for a third time, “What is his crime, then? I have found nothing in him that deserves execution; I am going to teach him a lesson and let him go.”

But they shouted him down, yelling their demand that he should be crucified.

Their shouting won the day, and Pilate pronounced the official decision that their request should be granted. He released the man for whom they asked, the man who had been imprisoned for rioting and murder, and surrendered Jesus to their demands. Luke 23:13-25 (Phillips)

You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Red As Scarlet

Photo by Andre Benz on Unsplash

Red dye stains on my favorite light blue blouse. I couldn’t believe it. All because I hung a red blouse to dry next to the blue blouse, and they pressed against each other.

I scrubbed, and scrubbed, and scrubbed. I tried various stain removal products. Nothing helped. The stains would not budge.

While I worked on this dilemma, it dawned on me. Isn’t that the way it is with the sin in our lives? We don’t have to be wrapped in it, smeared by it, or even dunked into it to have sin stain us. No amount of washing, scrubbing, or product can remove it from us either. The stain is permanently inked on our heart.

Although I ended up getting rid of my blue blouse because I couldn’t remove the stain, we need never wonder if God will get rid of us because of our sin stain. He tells us when we give our lives to him, he will remove all our sins through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross of Calvary.

Because of Jesus’ blood, though our sins are red as scarlet, they will be made whiter than snow and remembered no more. Thank you, Jesus.

Like me, do you have scarlet stains of sin that need removed? Tell Jesus. Nothing but his blood will do the job.

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Come, let’s talk this over, says the Lord; no matter how deep the stain of your sins, I can take it out and make you as clean as freshly fallen snow. Even if you are stained as red as crimson, I can make you white as wool! Isaiah 1:18 (TLB)

You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Flooded Book Review

In Flooded Nicki Koziarz looks at the biblical account of Noah and five decisions he made. Decisions we, too, can make to help quiet fear, resist the urge to try and control the uncontrollable, and find the familiar faithfulness of God when everything is falling apart.

Through examples she shows us:

  1. Noah was able to rise above the doubt his assignment could have caused by making the decision to walk with God.
  2. Noah listened and obeyed whether he agreed with God or not.
  3. Noah didn’t try to make sense of what God asked him to do.
  4. Noah remembered who was in control and believed God had a plan.
  5. Noah held to the familiar faithfulness of God when he stepped off the ark.

Using events from her own life interspersed throughout the book, Nicki shows how, like Noah, she worked through these decisions.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your impression of it?

You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Pause for Poetry – Heavenly Treasures

Welcome to Pause for Poetry featuring a poem, Heavenly Treasures, written by my writer-friend, Frances Gregory Pasch.

Heavenly Treasures

Dear Jesus, You have shown me

By Your guidance and Your love,

The things that I must strive for

Are the things that are above.

They’re the only things that matter.

They’re the only things of worth.

For when I die I cannot take

My treasures stored on earth.

So help me, Lord, to concentrate

On ways to love and share.

Show me where I’m needed

Let others know I care.

Don’t let the devil fill my mind

With thoughts of fear and dread,

Just let me feed upon Your Word

And trust in You instead.

Frances Gregory Pasch

Frances Gregory Pasch’s devotions and poems have been published hundreds of times in devotional booklets, magazines, and Sunday school papers since 1985. Her writing has also appeared in several dozen compilations. Frances’ latest book, Greater Than Gold is available on Amazon. Her first book, Double Vision: Seeing God in Everyday Life Through Devotions and Poetry, which was published when she was eighty years old, is also available on Amazon. Frances has been leading a women’s Christian writers group since 1991 and makes her own holiday greeting cards incorporating her poetry. She and her husband, Jim, have been married since 1958. They have five sons and nine grandchildren. Contact her at http://www.francesgregorypasch.com.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.
You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.
I wish you well.
Sandy
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Scarcity Mentality

“Most people are deeply scripted in what I call the Scarcity Mentality. They see life as having only so much, as though there were only one pie out there. And if someone were to get a big piece of the pie, it would mean less for everyone else.” – Stephen Covey

I hadn’t thought much about the term scarcity mentality until I reread the account of the Israelites in the wilderness. It’s the second month of their journey since they left Egypt. They grumbled against Moses and Aaron. “If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this assembly to death.” Exodus 16:2-3 (NIV).

Selective memory, it seems. Had they really forgotten they were slaves in Egypt?

So God told Moses he would rain down bread from heaven for the people in the morning and meat at twilight. But there were a couple rules first. Everyone was to gather only as much as they needed. An omer for each person in their tent. They were to go out each day and gather enough for that day. No one was to keep any of it until morning.

However, some of them paid no attention to Moses. Scarcity mentality. They kept part of it until morning. Imagine their surprise when they woke to find the food full of mold and maggots.

On the sixth day they were to gather twice as much food, because on the seventh day there would be no food on the ground. Nevertheless, some of the people went out on the seventh day to gather and found none. 

Like the Israelites wandering in the desert, we too, can have a scarcity mentality at times. That’s when the what ifs start bombarding us. What if there isn’t enough manna and quail tomorrow? But the thing is this, it didn’t matter if the Israelites gathered a lot or a little, whatever they gathered was always sufficient.

Are there times you feel the pangs of a scarcity mentality? If so, how do you push beyond it in gratefulness for what God has provided?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed. Exodus 16:18 (NIV)

You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Gluten-free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cranberry Cookie Recipe

This hardy gluten-free Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cranberry Cookie recipe with a soft and chewy center is super simple to make. The recipe is adapted from Jocelyn Delk Adams of Grandbaby Cakes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with nonstick cooking spray.

  • 2 cups quick oats
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter (I used chunky)
  • 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

In a large bowl combine quick oats, ground cinnamon, ground allspice, salt, applesauce, peanut butter, banana, and maple syrup.

Fold in dried cranberries.

Drop dough from a tablespoon onto the baking sheet. Press down slightly.

Bake 15-17 minutes or until tops are browned.

Enjoy!

You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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The Waiter Test

Photo by Michael C on Unsplash

In a devotion in Abundant Gifts: A Daybook of Grace-Filled Devotions by Diane Eble, Diane says one way to reveal a person’s heart is to apply the waiter test.

Look at how a person treats a waiter. If a waiter spills water on him, how does he react? Does he kindly say, “It’s okay, the water will dry,” or does he make a big scene?

One of my first jobs was a waitress, so I am familiar with being on the receiving end of seeing a bit into people’s hearts through the waiter test. Who would think, however, that while Pilot and I celebrated a special dinner out, I would have an opportunity to experience the waiter test from the customer’s side of the table?

It was apparent the waitress was new and inexperienced even before she poured my glass of iced water, then knocked it over into my lap.

In startled surprise at just how very cold that full glass of water was as it hit my lap, I yelped something like “Oh! That’s cold!”

The people at the table next to us saw the whole thing. They continued to stare as the poor flustered girl tried to mop the water from my lap. I felt so badly for her. True she’s the one who spilled the water, but that doesn’t mean it was intentional.

Like suggested in the devotion, I honestly did tell the waitress, “It’s okay. Really. My dress will dry. It’s cotton. Don’t worry about it. But, I would like another napkin or two.” as I flapped the skirt of my dress back and forth in an attempt to dry it. Honestly, I have no idea why I mentioned the dress was cotton. Maybe to show water really wouldn’t hurt it?

I didn’t need to think twice about how to respond to the situation. It wasn’t like I acted one way because people at the next table were looking, and would act another if they weren’t. I’m just really glad what spilled wasn’t something hot.

Applying the waiter test is a good idea, but might I suggest we apply it to more people than only waiters? The way we treat each person matters.

How about a sales clerk test? Drive through order taker test? Receptionist test? Bus driver test? Co-worker test? Hotel maid test? Person on the cell phone not paying attention to where they are going test? Family member test?

What are your experiences with the waiter test?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. Proverbs 27:19 (NIV)

You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Save the Cat! Cracking the Code Course Review

If you are a writer, then the following blog post is for you.

I’ve just completed the Save the Cat! Cracking the Code Online Course based on Blake Snyder’s Save the Cat! screen writing approach, and cannot say enough good things about it. Information from this course applies to all fiction writing, and is designed for writers to turn their ideas into a movie or novel. Last year I reviewed Save the Cat! Writes a Book so the name might sound familiar.

Here is what you receive for $59 from this self-paced six months access course of 25 individual lessons :

  • Over 3 hours and 17 minutes broken into of original video production
  • 9 downloadable worksheets
  • 3 reading assignments (book not included)
  • 4 homework assignments

The course teaches how to:

  • Create a solid beat sheet that will serve as the blueprint, road map, and “backbone” of your story 
  • Identify and know the key components of your story genre
  • Learn the clichés of your genre so that you can break them like an artist
  • Plot your hero’s “transformation”
  • Troubleshoot your story idea for viability 
  • Write a compelling logline or elevator pitch
  • Develop a title to your story that anyone can visualize

In addition to the course, I received Save the Cat! Beat Cards, and Save the Cat! scene cards.

Save the Cat! Beat Cards are 3×5 index cards you can use to plot your story’s key plot points from Opening Image to Final Image. Each set contains 15 individual index cards with explanations of each beat. Although these cards are handy, if you go through the course or read the book, you can make your own cards using plain 3×5 cards.

With Save the Cat! Scene Cards you receive 40 color-coded 3×5 cards that list the elements needed for every scene. Again, as with the Beat Cards they’re handy, but you could use plain index cards if you’d like.

Although the course description says it takes 3 hours and 17 minutes of video, I found myself stopping the video and backing it up to absorb all the information presented. With that said, it took me longer to finish the course.

The lectures include examples from movies which provide additional clarity. By the end of the course, everything started to fall into place. I saw how the information would help the weak areas in my current work in progress and improve my overall novel writing.

If you’re looking for a great online writing course that dives deep into the art of storytelling, Save the Cat! Cracking Your Beat Sheet course may just be the thing.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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I received this course and Save the Cat! cards through the W.O.W. blog tour for a fair and honest review, which is exactly what I gave.

You can find my March Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.