COME, FOLLOW JESUS: “Have Faith in God”


Mark 11:15-17, 22-24

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“Your unfailing love will last forever…” (Psalm 89:2) (Illustration by Jenn Webster)

Today is Palm Sunday, the final Sunday of the life of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, thus beginning a week that is so very special for Christians like us: Holy Week, a very special week, one that commemorates the final week of Christ’s life; In that commemoration of that final week, the Son of our Heavenly Father would do something that nobody else in this whole, wide world could do: He took our place on the cross to be punished for us, to be whipped, beaten, suffer, and to die for us, so that every one of us could be saved through the blessed power of salvation that can only come from the precious blood that only the Lord Jesus Christ could ever shed for us.
     In the 11th chapter of the Gospel of Mark (NLT), shortly after making His triumphant entry into Jerusalem, Jesus entered in the Temple, and instead of seeing people praying, He sees people buying and selling things such as animals for sacrifices. So with that, Jesus completely drove out each and every person who had done this instead of praying; Afterward, Jesus said to the people, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer for all nations’, but you have turned it into a den of thieves.”
     Of course, shortly after what Jesus had done, leading priests and teachers of religious law began to plot how they would kill the Christ, but because the people became so amazed at His teaching, they became afraid of Him (Mark 11:18, NLT).

Later on, Christ Jesus said the following to His disciples: “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea’, and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”
      Yes, Jesus simply told His disciples to just have faith in God; But what about you? Yes, you? Have you been having faith in yourself recently, only to have bad things come in your life, such as a job loss, a relationship breakup, or even a divorce? And have you also been trying to soothe those pains with nothing but vices such as drugs, alcohol, pornography, and even gambling? Do you so desperately need to have a change in your life?
     If so, then you are not alone-There are many other people just like you who ever so desperately need something that would change their lives for the very better, and do you want to know something else? I have some very wonderful news for you, in fact, Good News! In spite of all that you have gone through in your life, God loves you anyway, and He has finally found a way to save you from your darkness while showing His love for each and every one of you: In order to show His love for us, our Heavenly Father sent His only Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to take the place of a common criminal, allowing Himself to be forced to carry, to be beaten, to be whipped, and then to be nailed to, and then to suffer, bleed, and die on the cross for the payment of each and every one of our sins, both in the past and in the present.
     And then, three days later, our Lord God simply raised Jesus Christ from the dead and defeated death, then went out of that dark tomb, so that each one of us could very well have life eternal! Yes! Jesus died for YOU! Amen! My dearest friends, on this Palm Sunday, there is simply no greater gift than the gift of salvation that has been won for us by the precious blood that has been shed on the cross by Christ; This most precious gift is yours if you would only just fully accept it by repenting your sins and to ask Jesus to come into your heart.

 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:16-17, NLT)
     So on this Palm Sunday, are you ready to accept the free gift of salvation that Christ has won for you on the cross? Then please pray this prayer with me: “Oh, Lord God, Heavenly Father, I admit that I am a sinner. I have sinned against You in thought, word, and deed. I believe that You sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to earth to die on the cross for my sins, and that you have raised Him from the dead on the third day, defeating death as He went out of that cold, dark tomb, so that I could have eternal life. I ask that You please forgive me of all my sins and that you allow Your Son, Jesus Christ, to come into my heart, so that I could follow Him always as my personal Savior. Thank You so very much that Your Son sacrificed Himself to save me. In Jesus name. Amen.”
     If you have just prayed this prayer with me, then you are now a part of God’s Great, Big Family! And now that you have given your very own heart to Jesus Christ, the very next thing that you yourselves need to do would be to read God’s Word, the Holy Bible, each and every day of your life; And then, you must attend Sunday service at your church, not just on any Sunday, but each and every Sunday of your life, so that you can praise, worship, and to thank our Lord God for loving you and saving you by sending Jesus to die on the cross for you. I very much hope as well as pray that you would make the most important choice of your life by giving your heart to Jesus Christ, not just today on Palm Sunday, but every day, and always. I would like to thank you so very much for taking the time to read my message today, and that, Lord willing, next week I shall bring you a very special Easter message. Until then, may the Lord God ever so richly bless you.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR TODAY


Isaiah 43:16-21(NLT):

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(Illustration by Jenn Webster)

I am the LORD, who opened a way through the waters,
    making a dry path through the sea.
   I called forth the mighty army of Egypt
    with all its chariots and horses.
I drew them beneath the waves, and they drowned,
    their lives snuffed out like a smoldering candlewick.

   “But forget all that—
    it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
   For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
   The wild animals in the fields will thank Me,
    the jackals and owls, too,
    for giving them water in the desert.
Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland
    so my chosen people can be refreshed.
   I have made Israel for Myself,
    and they will someday honor Me before the whole world.

And Now, a Tweet from Jenn W…


EASTER (An Essay)


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(Zentangle(R)-inspired illustration by Jenn Webster)

      On the 21st of April, we shall celebrate Easter; Easter is a time in which Christians such as myself shall celebrate the fact that Jesus Christ has defeated death when he has risen from the dead. For Christians such as myself, it is the most blessed time in all of the year in the calendar…
Easter is also a part of Spring, which happens to be a time of renewal; Babies of the human and animal kind are born, mental lives are to be straightened out, and we smell the most beautifully blessed flowers and fauna that the Lord God has ever given us and has blessed us with.
Easter is supposed to be a time to offer our praises to the One who has given His very own life so that we could be saved; However, there are those who have simply never taken the holiday very seriously and have used it to focus on other things…

      Things such as awaiting the arrival of the Easter Bunny to see what treats and goodies he has for them; Dyeing eggs to a most specific color imaginable…Going to Easter egg hunts while dressing to impress…
Yes, those things are fine and good, but have they forgotten about the real, true meaning of Easter? With the world the way it is as of right now, then I do believe that we need the real, true message of Easter just as much as now as ever before. Easter is not about the Easter Bunny-It is about the most blessed story of all time: The story of how our Lord God sent His only Son into earth to allow Himself to take our place on the cross and to die there, as the ultimate payment for sins, both in the past and in the present.
And do you want to know something else? The whole world should always honor the fact that we have been blessed by God through Jesus Christ, not just at Easter, but each and every day, 365 days a year.

      At Easter this year, I think that it is a very good time for you to introduce your children to the blessed tale of salvation; Read the entire Easter story, either in the Gospels of Luke, Matthew, or John in the Holy Bible, and then let those blessed words of the Lord enrich the minds of your children, so that they will know and understand the fact that God sent Jesus to die for their sins; And then, if the Lord is willing, then sometime soon your children shall learn to keep on reading the Bible and then they shall know how to do things the right way from this most blessed book.
That should be the most blessed Easter gift that you would ever give to your children.

7,000, and Still Spinning…


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Pat & Vanna…One remembers and still cherishes that team…

     Next month, a certain game show will be celebrating a certain milestone, as in, 7,000 episodes; That certain game show in which I am talking about is of course Wheel of Fortune; Yes, one could hardly believe that this game show is still going strong after 3 ½ decades, and its hosts, Pat Sajak & Vanna White, are still around. Somewhere, there might be a critic who would scoff at this and say, “Why the heck are you guys still on our televisions?!” But I doubt it…
The phenomenon of Wheel may have started in 1982, but the show actually got its start way back in 1975; It originally aired as an NBC daytime show premiering on January 6th, 1985, going on to run in the daytime until June 30th, 1989. But then, the show moved to CBS while it had made changes to the format on July 17th, 1989; But on January 11th, 1991, the daytime version of the classic game show aired its final episode. However, it was the daytime show’s popularity that led to a syndicated nighttime version of Wheel, in which still runs to this day.
Wheel of Fortune was created by the legendary Merv Griffin; He conceived the show when he decided to create a game in the style of “Hangman”, which happens to be a game in which he enjoyed in his childhood as a way to pass the time of the long car trips that he had with his sister. He discussed the idea with his staff, which then thought that as a game show, it might work if it had a “hook”; So it was with that that Griffin chose to add a roulette-style wheel, and why? Because he had always been so fascinated to such wheels after seeing them in casinos. An executive at Caesar’s Palace was consulted by Griffin and Murray Schwartz, then-president of Merv Griffin Enterprises, to find out how to build a wheel like the roulette wheel…

    Merv Griffin then created a pilot episode called “Shopper’s Bazaar”, with the host being Chuck Woolery and its announcer being Mike Lawrence. In the pilot, there were three contestants who are introduced individually, and then the main game was played in four rounds, with the values on the wheel wedges increasing after the second round. This pilot episode was much different from the show in which would evolve into, and would be enjoyed by fans to this day: It had a vertically mounted wheel, spun automatically, while lacking a Bankrupt wedge; It also featured a wedge in which a contestant would call out a vowel for free, and even a “Your Own Clue” wedge, and that would allow contestants to pick up a rotary telephone to hear a private clue about a puzzle. At the game’s end, there would be a bonus round called the “Shopper’s Special” in which all the vowels in the puzzle would be already there, and then the contestant would have 30 seconds to call out consonants in the puzzle. (To borrow my family’s most favorite word, REALLY?!?)
Chuck Woolery first hosted the show until 1981, when a salary dispute with creator Merv Griffin resulted in his departure; Then Pat Sajak came on the scene on December 28th, 1981, and the reason Griffin chose Sajak is that he has an “odd” sense of humor. Sajak would host the daytime version of the game show until January 9th, 1989, when he left to host a late-night talk show for CBS, and then former football player Rolf Benirschke took over as the host until NBC canceled the daytime “Wheel” after fourteen years on June 30th, 1989.
Susan Stafford was a hostess for the game show until October 1982, when she left to go on to become a humanitarian worker; The hostess duties would then go to a then-unknown woman by the name of Vanna White, who would then go on to become a household name.

Charlie O’ Donnell was Wheel of Fortune ‘s announcer until 1980, when he had been replaced by Jack Clark, who had also announced the syndicated nighttime version until his July 1988 death. O’ Donnell would return to the game show as the announcer in 1989 and would remain as announcer until his death from heart failure in 2010; Jeopardy! announcer Johnny Gilbert was among many announcers who served as substitutes. In 2011, Jim Thornton, who also does voice-over work, I think, became the new announcer for Wheel of Fortune and has remained with the show since then.
There is a whole lot more to the story of Wheel of Fortune that what this blog post has just covered, so may I suggest that you head on over to Wikipedia’s page about this treasured game show at this link right here. Meanwhile, the 7,000th episode of “Wheel of Fortune” will air on May 10th; It is ever so amazing how a game show would last as long as any other game show today, and we are grateful to have Wheel of Fortune to become a part of America’s living rooms since the beginning of the 1980s.

And Now, a Tweet from Jenn W…


A Real Pain in the Tooth…


Just recently I had gotten a toothache on the left side of my teeth; This happens to be, I think, the third time that I have gotten a toothache, and something tells me that there may be a reason…

Every few years I have gotten a toothache; When I had paid a visit to the dentist and told him or her about each toothache, the answer is surprising-Each time I go to the dentist to explain my toothache problems, they examine each tooth and inform me that the toothache is the result of abscess teeth…You do want to know what an abscess tooth does to your teeth, do you?

Well, it is a pus that is grown inside of the tooth, and as long as the pus is inside the tooth, pain occurs. When the pus is finally broken, then one is prepared for extreme pain, because there happens to be swelling involved.

And that could mean a whole lot of trouble if you don’t go to the dentist real quick, in which I have done on previous occasions; When you have that pain in your tooth because of an abscess tooth, then the dentist tells you that you have no other choice but to have that tooth pulled. Once your tooth is pulled (READ: Extracted), then you shall have no more pain…At least until that next certain toothache comes along.

For now, I have this toothache relief gel that would help ease the pain of my left tooth until I could make an appointment to see a dentist; Once I find time to make an appointment with the dentist, then I would have to find a way to take the day off from work so that I could visit that dentist.

I am just thinking that this aching tooth placed in the left side of my teeth would happen to be another abscess tooth, but I shall not know until I see the dentist; In my own opinion, I think that losing your teeth due to abscess may be a sign that I am getting old, and as a matter of fact I am getting old. But do you want to know something else? I really do not want to be afraid of getting old. In fact, I want to face getting old with as much courage as humanly possible; And if I am forced to accept this, then maybe I shall have no problem with wearing false teeth!