Lessons from the Father and our Resurrected Savior

Easter is a the most important holiday we can celebrate. Without this mighty display of God’s power, Christianity could not have its most unique and saving qualities: not by works but faith is one saved (Ephesians 2:8; Galatians 2:16), all can come to the Father and Son (Colossians 3:11; Galatians 3:8), God loves us and wants to know us personally ( John 15:15), and our Savior is ALIVE and resurrected, thus conquering death (Corinthians 15:55, 57; 2 Timothy 1:10;  Matthew 28:6more).

Let’s read the beginning of this victory.

*Matthew 28:1-10 After the Sabbath, as the light of the next day, the first day of the week, crept over Palestine, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to the tomb to keep vigil. Earlier there had been an earthquake. A messenger of the Lord had come down from heaven and had gone to the grave. He rolled away the stone and sat down on top of it. He veritably glowed. He was vibrating with light. His clothes were light, white like transfiguration, like fresh snow. The soldiers guarding the tomb were terrified. They froze like stone.

The messenger spoke to the women, to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary.

Messenger of the Lord: Don’t be afraid. I know you are here keeping watch for Jesus who was crucified. But Jesus is not here. He was raised, just as He said He would be. Come over to the grave, and see for yourself.

And then go straight to His disciples, and tell them He’s been raised from the dead and has gone on to Galilee. You’ll find Him there. Listen carefully to what I am telling you.

The women were both terrified and thrilled, and they quickly left the tomb and went to find the disciples and give them this outstandingly good news. But while they were on their way, they saw Jesus Himself.

Jesus (greeting the women): Rejoice.

The women fell down before Him, kissing His feet and worshiping Him.

Jesus: 10 Don’t be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to go to Galilee. Tell them I will meet them there.

This year, God has allowed me to understand his forgiveness in a more complete way. I have often struggled with feelings of guilt for what I have done, even after asking God for forgiveness. I’ve been holding onto to past failures and allowing them to keep me from experiencing God’s abounding mercy and grace.

I learned the verses about freedom in Christ and His forgiveness but never fully understood them.

  • “Therefore, now no condemnation awaits those who are living in Jesus the Anointed, the Liberating King.” Romans 8:1
  • “So stand strong for our freedom! The Anointed One freed us so we wouldn’t spend one more day under the yoke of slavery, trapped under the law.” Galatians 5:1
  • “So think of it this way: if the Son comes to make you free, you will really be free.” John 8:36

God’s love is so big that He sees the righteousness of His Son when He sees us.  He orchestrated this: the Anointed One, who had never experienced sin, became sin for us so that in Him we might embody the very righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

I can’t remember the exact place where I heard it (from Chip Ingram or Charles Stanley maybe?), but it radically changed how I view the fear of messing up. If I am not afraid of death because of what Christ rising from the dead did for me, how then can I fear anything else? After hearing, I really started to think, men and women have written stories about immortality for generations; people want to escape death. As a Christian, I am excited for the day I will leave this earth to be with my Savior and Father in heaven.

The miraculous gift God gave through His Son is the power to forgive myself and other people. It is the power to be free of past regret and shame.

“There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 NIV  for God tells us through the apostle John; perfect love casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). God is the only perfect lover of our souls.

We are free from sin, death, shame, and regret. Only God can turn bad into good. Genesis 50:20 “Even though you intended to harm me, God intended it only for good, and through me, He preserved the lives of countless people, as He is still doing today.”

*All verses from The Voice unless otherwise marked
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Simple Veggie Spaghetti

Ingredients

serves 3-4

  • 2 servings (about 1.5 handfuls) of  Whole Wheat Spaghetti
  • 1-16oz can of corn (with no sauce)
  • 3 tablespoons of dried basil flakes
  • 3-4 tablespoons of dries parsley flakes
  • 1.5 tablespoons of dried garlic powderSimple Veggie Spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil (or enough to coat the bottom of the the skillet evenly)
  • 2 medium tomatoes chopped
  • Fresh parsley to garnish (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Put water to boil in medium sized pot. When water is bubbling lively, add the spaghetti. Cook about 8-10 minutes; cook slightly under desired chewiness. When you mix ingredients is a skillet the pasta will cook a little more.
  2. While pasta is boiling, heat the olive oil in a large skillet.You may need less than 1/4 cup. Pour in enough to coat the bottom of skillet.
  3. Add the corn and sliced tomatoes.
  4. When the spaghetti is finished cooking, pour contents in a colander to drain the water. Then, pour the pasta into the skillet over the corn and tomatoes. Mix it all together and add the parsley flakes, basil, and garlic.
  5. Once again, mix all the ingredients together until it is evenly spread throughout  the pasta.

Dobro Chut’  , Bon au petit.

Resurrection Day is come!

Each year as I know God more, Easter becomes more and more rich. This past  Holy Thursday, Good Friday (0r Velký Pátek -Big Friday as the Czechs call it) , Holy Saturday, and this blessed Resurrection Day has filled my soul with such hope.

Thursday, I slept much of the day because I’ve had a terrible cold/flu. The night before I was so frustrated. I tried to pray to God expressing my frustration and anger for not being able to put my whole self into ministry, as this was about my third cold this year (and the worst). I started coughing and coughing as I was praying. I cried out, “God, I can’t even pray with out coughing.”  I tell this not for my own glory but to tell of God’s mighty deliverance from our infirmities. Wednesday and Thursday night, I slept very soundly, more soundly than I have slept the past few weeks. God truly is our deliver.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I watched three different film versions of the life of Christ. First, I watched “The Jesus Film.” I had never seen the movie in its entirety. My favorite part is Jesus telling a parable to the little children. I was reminded of His perfect fatherly love for us ALL: teaching and loving us.

Thursday and Friday, as I lay in bed exhausted with my cold, I watched “Jesus of  Nazareth,”  a six hour film about Jesus’ life.  My mother, sister, and I had always watched  it when I was a child. I had forgotten much of this interpretation.  I loved being able to see such a through portrayal of our Savior’s life. It allows the audience to see many sides to the story from different men and woman within the story. One part my mother and I truly love is when Mary Magdalene tells the disciples that Jesus has risen. In ancient culture women were seen as lower class, non-citizens. Jesus chose to reveal Himself to one who was thought unimportant in society. This gives me great hope as it shows God seeks to love and know all of us, even those who are not loved or valued by humankind.  This ten minute clip portrays so well the third day of Christ’s death-the day of his resurrection.

After finishing “Jesus of Nazareth,” I watched “The Passion of Christ.” I had not seen it since it was released in theatres. My mom, sister, and I had seen it then. In anticipation of watching it again, I expected to be weeping as I had the first time I saw it. I did cry, and cough, and sneeze, and cough. As I watched it, I wanted to cry more as it portrayed the horrendous death  my  Savior should have suffered. I felt guilty for not shedding many tears. I will never forget  hearing God’s beautiful whisper in my mind as I watched it, “Do not weep My beloved, your days to mourn are over. I have conquered the world for you. I have risen!”

The part that stays in my memory of “The Passion” is the following clip. Mary, Jesus’ mother, sees Him fall while attempting to carry the cross. Wow! What amazing words He tells her despite His great suffering. Jesus still preached about His Father’s truth even when in excruciating agony.

God used this time of sickness to get my attention about His love and mighty gift. How great the Father’s love for us;  how wonderful is the example that Christ gave to us of obedience and love.

I can never thank my God enough! Yet, by following His example, and giving Him my life,  I can tell as many people as I can about the truly spectacular gift. I can live  a life of thanks to Him.

I thank my God that He allowed me to suffer, just a little, on Good Friday( by coughing and coughing and shivering). I could share in His suffering.

He makes all things new!

Below is a song written about the passion of Christ and how he fulfilled His father’s will, securing our salvation. He has risen!!

Caution!!! The clip below shows gory images of the crucifixion.

 

Sucess at Poděbrady Kino

Tonight, I went to the Poděbrady movie theatre again. This time was much different from the last experience.

  1. I went with four friends. Two of those friends are my  new teammates,  Bobby and Shannon, who  are also living her in  Poděbrady for two years.
  2. The movie, “Saving Mr. Banks” was in English! Yahoo!
  3. I asked for the tickets Czech (one of my new year goals is when speaking in Czech, say a complete thought or sentence).

“Saving Mr. Banks” is brilliant. I love to see movies that can inspire and tell a true story. It is often the stories of someone who has come out of great hardship and risen to their dream that really hits the note in our lives. I am so grateful that Walt Disney, the man who was told he” lacked imagination and had no good ideas,” kept pursuing what he wanted to achieve.

We should never let our failures stop us from seeking what gives us joy or a feeling of purpose. One of the many motto’s I have in life was said by  Abraham Lincoln:

Failure is the best teacher.

I know in my life, God continually helps me to become who He has made me to be through  my failures. It is not always butterflies and daises; but, when we endure it is well worth the effort and sweat.

Jedi Knight gets affordable health care

Towards the end of November, the Podebrady Orthopedic saw me three times in two weeks. I would say, both occasions were injuries resulting from my own clumsiness. : )

After Youth Hangout, a few of us were playing a Star Wars game on Xbox Kinect. In this game, you are acting as a Jedi. Playing the game requires you to wave your hand around in swiping motions (as if using a light saber), you also need to jump and duck down to avoid obstacles in the game. It fascinates me how a a video game can be so interactive; I remember Sega and Play Station. hehe Back to the story at hand, unbeknownst to myself, to my right was one of the ceramic-top tables we for the events. As I was swinging my “light saber,”  I whacked my hand on the table. It really hurt at first, but I kept playing. I was fulfilling one of my childhood dreams in being a Jedi Knight.

I thought nothing of it that night. But the next day, it was too painful  to move my hand. It continued to hurt for the next few days even though I tried to wrap it to stop using it, which was near impossible because I am right-handed. On Monday, I went to the orthopedic doctor that Tomas told me about. I walked to the Doctor’s office across from the post office, signed my name on the sign in sheet (trying to use my left-hand) and waited my turn. The doctor’s office was on the first floor at the back of a long hallway. The waiting room consisted of about 15 chairs for patients to sit, and the doctor’s door (dark window-less door) was locked until you were called to come.

When called to see the doctor, he requested an x-ray to ensure my hand wasn’t broken. I went down the hall to the radiologists. I gave the woman the scrip, t and I payed less than $20 dollars for an x-ray! It is far more expensive in the USA. After receiving the x-ray, I went back to the osteopathic physician to give him the x-rays. Praise the Lord my hand wasn’t broken. : ) The total bill for seeing the doctor and getting an x-ray was half the price of a seeing a specialist in the US.

The day after my hand was finally healed, I was walking at night to a friends house. The pavement/cobblestone sidewalks are very uneven here. I stepped down off the curb to cross the street, and I felt the familiar pain of spraining my ankle. I felt a sudden popping and piercing pain (this was the fourth of fifth time I sprained my ankle). It was quite sore the rest of the night, and I was hobbling around on Sunday. Monday morning, I went to the same doctor.

After waiting about an hour, the doctor called me into his office yet again. He asked me if my hand still hurt, it had been the previous Monday I came to see him. His instructions were to return Monday  if my hand was still sore. When sitting in his office, I said my hand is fine, but I sprained my ankle on Saturday. Again I was going for an x-ray and showing the doctor the x-ray pictures. The doctor instructed me not to walk on my foot for a few days.  I asked for some crutches so I could keep my wait off the ankle. I tried to explain about underarm crutches, but without success  I got elbow crutches. American crutches vs. Elbow crutches

When I left the doctor’s office, I felt so so wobbly on those crutches. It hurt more to use the crutches than to put all my weight on the ankle. I was walking on my toe. The next day, I went back to the doctor’s office and when the nurse came out to call a patient, I showed her a picture of “American” crutches, as they are called in Europe. So I was able to hobble out of the office and keep my weight off my ankle.

Praise the Lord the ankle was better by Friday. I was blessed to walk crutch-free at the Vienna Christmas Markets trip with my friends.

Thor: Temný svět ( The Dark World)

Friday night, I was so excited to watch Thor 2 at the Poděbrady Kino (movie theatre). The cinema is in the castle. About three or four weeks ago, I had seen on the movie listing on the caste billboard, set to show November 14th and 15th at 19:00. November 15th,  I walked into the threatre and bought my ticket. It was even in 3D! Along with the ticket, I got the special 3D  glasses, but these were very heavy duty and durable unlike the glasses I  get at Regal in the US. And it was 1/4 of the price of Regal too.  So I sat down in the Theatre, so excited. The movie theatre  had velour stadium seats (only about ten rows). Each ticket had a seat and row number to sit in; I’ve never been in a movie theatre that has  assigned seating. But, why not?20131115_185332

The previews started in English with Czech subtitles. After about three previews, the movie starts in Czech! The sign had said it would have Czech subtitles, not dubbed in Czech! Haha, as I watched the movie, I could only catch some sentences. I am very much looking forward to seeing it in English, so I will really understand what is happening. The first Thor is on Netflix, so I hope the second one is put on soon.

Even though I didn’t understand the dialouge, I could get the basic plot line of the movie from watching it. The special effects were great to watch,  and I think there was humor in it. The audience was laughing quite a bit.