Friday, April 20, 2018

" He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe."  Ephesians 4:10 NIV
Stop for a moment, and think about this verse. I had no idea when I first came to know God what He had done for you and I. In His humanity, Jesus submitted to His Father's plan. He knew His Father's plan included the cross. The sinless Son of God would hang on a tree, between two thieves.

His choice, fully knowing the consequences, was to be crucified. This doesn't mean it was an easy choice. It wasn't what He would have chosen for himself, but He wasn't motivated by His own choices. He knew His purpose for coming to earth, and He was determined to fulfill it.

In the old testament times, a spotless, perfect lamb had to be sacrificed on the altar in proxy for all of the Hebrew nation. Only the High Priest could go into the Most Holy Place to perform this sacrifice, for the atonement of sin.

A Priest studied and worked hard in order to be chosen for this highly respected position. He knew that being in the Holy of Holies could bring death, because God's presence was there. If He moved the wrong way, or had any sin in His own life, He might not return from this place.

Once a year this Priest would make a visit to atone for sin. Once and for all Jesus gave himself up to the plan of God. He became the Lamb that was slain. He took our place so we could live. He sits at the right hand of the Father now praying for us. God no longer sees our sin, because He sees the blood of Jesus instead.

This reality can be mind boggling when you consider that He chose it. Not because He wanted to suffer, but because He knew it would bring us to God.What kept Him on the cross? Only love for us could do this!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

"This is why it says: When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men. What does 'he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions?"
Ephesians 4:8-9 NIV

What a day it is today! You might be wondering what I am referring to. Today is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice an be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 It may seem ordinary, and rainy, but it is a day that God has made for a purpose. You and I may not know what God is up to, but for sure He is doing some great things.

Our verse today refers to Jesus rising from the dead. Those who are "captive"are the souls that died before His resurrection. He freed those who had passed away previously from the sting of death and the grave. Why did He take these to heaven? They were believers in the promise of the coming Savior.

 We are saved from death{our souls I mean}because we look back to the work that Jesus did on the cross. These who were led by Jesus into heaven were those who believed before He came. Our God is so wonderful. He has made a way for all to partake in His grace, as long as we are willing.

When Jesus was crucified, be went into the "lower earthly regions" as Paul writes. The purpose of this was for Him to rise above all principalities and powers, and truly be Lord over all! He reigns over every lie, and destructive thing the enemy tries to put on you.

The power of the resurrection is beyond our understanding. We have not seen God moving in His power in this country the way He wants to move. Is it because we don't pray? We do pray, but maybe we haven't hit the mark yet. Maybe we need more dedicated time in prayer specifically for revival?

Some of you know I lead a prayer ministry in our church called 24/7 prayer.We hope to have someone praying every hour around the clock for revival, and blessing on our region.We are not complete yet, but are trusting God to send more people who will dedicate an hour once a week.

Who knows what God will do through prayer on Long Island? We know He is willing. May our cries reach His heart with sincere reality of our needs. He will answer with His might. It is all in His timing.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

"But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it."   Ephesians 4:7  NIV

I took this picture myself a few years ago at Bethany Beach in Delaware.The pics I have used recently are from a site, and don't have any personal attachment. I can't wait to be on the beach! Usually we go to our local beach on the Long Island Sound, only 10 minutes away. There is little traffic, and it's easily accessible.

The trade off is it is not the Ocean. There are rocks instead of a lot of nice clean sand, and if you don't wear beach shoes it's not fun at all. Bugs can be a problem too, since there isn't a strong ocean breeze. My husband Rudy isn't up for a ride to the ocean on the weekends. He rather sit in our own backyard and listen to the birds chirp, and not hear people.

He's not anti social at all, He's tired after a busy week, and I understand him. I go to our local beach sometimes during the day to walk and get my feet wet. I might pray a little when no one is around. I feel the Lord's presence in the outdoors. It is His domain.

This is the first week that us Long Islanders have had a day where the temp was above 60 degrees.  My sister in North Carolina has had spring weather for two months. Those of us in the northeast have had to rely on God's grace to get us through.

I'll bet you were wondering how I was going to fit this verse in! God's grace isn't something we can take for granted. It is given when we trust Him to be who He said He would be. Our faith ignites the grace of God in our lives. We become aware of this marvelous grace when faith is present.

Can we trust God that He will apportion to us the grace that is needed in our circumstance? Yes, because He knows better than anyone how much is necessary. He is keenly aware of our lives and knows all the details, better than we do.

As I read the Word of God I am aware of His grace being poured out on lives in both the Old and New Testaments. Since God NEVER changes we can lean on His lovingkindness to be liberal in our lives. How wonderful to know the Lord of All the Heavens and the Earth.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

"---one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."  Ephesians 4:5-6  NIV

This picture is of myself with our son Matthew. It is on the day he graduated from High School. Five years ago I could never have imagined that he would now be ready to graduate College.

 He wasn't a good student in High School. He was close to graduation before we knew if he would actually graduate with his class. Wrestling and goofing off was more his style. Immaturity was high on the list of reasons for this behavior.

More than once in the past five years he has told us things that he did in school during High School. We are so glad we didn't know about these escapades earlier. We had enough angst as it was! More than once we had to talk the school into giving him one more chance.

Daily prayer is responsible for his turn around. As he began Community College he became close to a professor who was dynamic and easy to listen to. He had a son who was a wrestler, and Matt him. They had wrestled together during the summer practices when our team from our small Christian School would meet with the Public School team.

This meeting wasn't by chance. God knows who to put in our paths to bring us into what He wants for us. Matt's grades went from barely passing to A's. He was inspired to work for what he wanted for his future.

In a month he will graduate from Stony Brook University with a bachelor's degree in International Business. Prayer has been the fuel behind his success. He will tell you that he worked hard, which he did. Without prayer I don't think it would have worked out as well, if at all.

Those things that we bathe in prayer bring the grace and strength of God into the picture. As I continue to pray, I believe God to complete the work that He began in Matt. God works in situations in ways we can never imagine. Who knew this Professor at Suffolk Community would be the springboard for Matt to succeed? Only God.

Questions or comments? I would be glad to speak with you. Please  text me at Love to you and your family!

Monday, April 16, 2018

"--one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all."  Ephesians 4:5-6 NIV

I used to get nervous when little bodies pushed chairs over to the sink. Things could get out of control easily with the water and soap flying. Look at the joy on these children's faces! It is a time to be a little more free.

A lot of time can go by when children are occupied with such activities. I tried to supply my children with lots of activities that varied from arts and crafts to running and playing outside. One of our favorite times of every week was playing with our friends, the Gaudios. 

Cathy Gaudio has a son who is the same age as my son Rudy. Both of them are 28 years old, and are still very good friends. The two of them went to Miami for vacation last week. My daughter is the same age as Cathy's second son Ken. Rachel and Kenny had some fun times together. 

 Kenny took her to her Prom in High School. My son Matt is the same age as Cathy's son Mike. After that she had a forth son, who is two years older than my youngest daughter.

Cathy and I have been friends for 28 years. We don't get to see each other as often now. She is a Speech Pathologist at a local Elementary. Her family keeps her busy on the weekends. Our friendship picks up where ever we leave off. It doesn't matter how much time has transpired. We both acknowledge that God gave us each other as a special blessing in our lives.

God is the same always. He never changes. He is our God and Father over all. He is the one who keeps us. No matter what life throws our way, we know He is faithful! He has a way of putting us together so life works. This doesn't mean that it is perfect.

Our lives may not turn out the way we pictured it years ago. There are unexpected twists and turns. Sometimes we may feel as if an avalanche blocked us from achieving what we had planned. I don't know what I had planned before depression hit me, but it doesn't matter now. Nothing blocks us from God's plans as long as we are sticking close by His side.

Depression was part of God's plan to make me whole. He was not the author of it, but He used it in ways I still cannot fathom. My life has been put together in stronger ways than before. Sorrow and heartache can work for our good. 

He says:" And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God,  and are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 KJV We can trust God hand. If He has allowed something in our lives, know that He can also work it out as a blessing in the end.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

"There is one body and one spirit- just as you were called into one hope when you were called-  Ephesians 4:4  NIV

This little girl looks like my daughter Stephanie. She doesn't play any sports as this child does, but she likes to look in the fridge. Usually she says,"Mom what is there to eat?" I would like to reply maybe by saying, You are the one looking in the fridge, you tell me. I don't ever say that.

My daughters only like certain things, my sons like almost anything. After Steph has said her part I usually go down the list of the foods that I have and I know she likes. It can be tough sometimes! She has eaten cereal for dinner more than once.

To make matters worse, what she may like this week, she may not want the next! I cook basic paleo food, but I make anything that my kids may like outside of this. Unity would be a great thing for my family when it comes to mealtime.

Thank God he doesn't give us too many choices.There is one body, The body of Christ, made up of simple individuals. The everyday people like you and me, are who God's people are. Unity comes in the body when all eyes are focused on the head. Christ Jesus, our one and only Savior is the alpha and omega, the beginning and the end.

All  good things come from His loving hands. He is the hope of nations the Bible says. Biblical hope is steadfast, without wavering. It isn't what we may think. We might say, I hope it doesn't rain. Biblical hope is a strong declaration similar to faith. Our hope is in the Lord. It is unmoving, just as He is.

Life can throw us tsunamis out of left field. We can feel helpless and overwhelmed. In a world with much upheaval it is wonderful to know that Our God reigns! He reigns over every circumstance and situation that we hand over to him.You are being called into His presence where peace and joy can fill your heart. When we release burdens into His capable hands we can be filled with such blessings.

Let God lead you into His peace and grace and carry your heavy burdens for you. We were not made to carry emotional turmoil and heartache. It will weight on us and pull us down. His grace is sufficient for us, and His strength is made perfect in weakness. Based on 2 Corinthians 12:9  

Maybe none of this makes any sense to you and you would like to talk. Questions and comments:  Love to all.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

"Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace."  Ephesians 4:3 NIV

Peace is a gift of the Spirit of God. It is something that every person on the face of the earth wants. Some people try to find it in ordinary ways, like listening to God and doing what he says. This is the best way to obtain it.

His peace rests on those who line up their lives with His truth. Not everyone wants to go about this the easy way. Rebellion in our hearts doesn't want to yield to God. Youth says to us, lets try to go around "the rules."Years of learning tells us that it's smart to go with God. Many have died trying to live contrary to the way of grace.

Wisdom might also say that it's not smart to have a dog in your wedding if you want to keep your dress white. I'm getting off track here, please forgive me, but dogs make me happy. 

Paul admonishes us to make every effort because it's that important to have the unity of the spirit and peace. The harmony and oneness of the spirit is what gives peace and grace to every situation.  In verse 2 we see the importance of making allowances for others because of love. 

Love is the only sincere way to keep people in harmony with one another. If our focus is to follow Him, the flow follows. Peace is the natural outflow of this focus. I hope this makes sense. So many things going on around me right now as I try to write. I promise I will be free of distractions tomorrow.  Love and Prayers to you.

Comments or questions? Please e-mail me at I don't want this blog to be a monologue, but a dialog. You are precious to me, my readers.