Category Archives: Encouragement

Temptations during Fasting

Scripture Passage: Luke 2:1-14

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted  by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. 

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”

 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’b ”

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.”

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’c ”

The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written:

“ ‘He will command his angels concerning you

to guard you carefully;

they will lift you up in their hands,

so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’d ”

Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’e ”

When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.

Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.

How I See It

Jesus fasted for a period of forty days. In this passage we see Jesus was tempted three times during this fast. In the past when I have read this passage I learned how Jesus responded to the devil and how we should respond in kind. Today, when I read this passage I see Jesus was tempted to break His fast in three ways. The tempter tried to make Jesus eat. Satan tempted Jesus with lust for power and pride- to take over the world. Satan tempted Jesus to take His own life in suicide and to test the Lord to save Him.

The Scriptures say that Jesus was both fully God and fully man. It was the human side of Jesus that was tempted in these ways. If Jesus was tempted by these things, it follows that we can also be tempted in these ways also. It is important that we realize this.

If you are fasting, it will be the enemy’s goal to make you break your fast. Why? because when we fast we are endeavoring not just to sustain from eating. That is merely dieting. When we fast we are sustaining from food in order to turn our hunger and urges to seeking God and hearing from Him. The last thing the enemy wants us to do is seek God and hear the personal directions He has for us. When we receive personal directions from God and obey them, amazing things happen. The enemy of our souls does NOT want this to happen.

  • Seek God personally.
  • Hear His voice.
  • Reject, fight, attack temptations and lies from evil….they will come.
  • Draw near to God. Seek Him out with ALL your heart, soul, mind and strength.
  • Obey the LORD and do HIS work of loving your neighbor, using the gifts and talents He has given YOU, and making disciples.

1 (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

 

Truth Cry

 

The LORD is near to all who call on him.” Then the emphasis is added: “to all who call on him in truth.” Have you truthfully cried out to God? I am reminded that God doesn’t mind if you are mad. Last night, I was so angry about something- someone- that I was screaming and I was asking God “why?” I awoke to this verse:

The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” He fulfills the desires of those who fear him, he hears their cry and saves them. Psalm 145:18-19

God is real (you know that) and we must be real with Him. Don’t go away from God, but call on him. Don’t shout at God. Shout to God! He hears your cry, and He WILL save you. He doesn’t mind if you cry out to Him, in fact this verse tells us that we should cry out and call on Him. You can trust God. He is everlastingly faithful. He’s faithful from the infinitesimally minute to the infinitely grand, to those who fear (reverence) Him.

Go ahead. Sometimes we need to cry out! He hears. He loves you. He cares. He will save you in the right time, in the right place, you just need to trust Him.

“All of my life in every season you are still God I have a reason to sing. I have a reason to worship.” Hillsong United

I don’t wanna be a teacher!

Teaching is difficult. When I was training to be a teacher I wanted to inspire students and help them love learning. I wanted them to have fun in my classroom, and LOVE science. Afterall, science is the expression of God’s creativity and the beauty of life is seen throughout its dimensions.This beauty is enthralling and I want to share this with my students.

But as a teacher, especially a high school teacher, I have learned that I also need to do things that are not so much fun. I need to discipline. I need to challenge my students. I also have to ask them to work. Most students are just not receptive to this. Instead of wonder and rapture at the beauty of learning there are times I get apathy, attitude and sass. It’s not all the time, but when it happens it’s not too nice.

Being a teacher also means dealing with the problems in a student’s life, such as the fallout of their separating parents or the worry they feel for their troubled friends. I am sad for them as I feel their broken hearts. These are also the times that it’s not much fun being a teacher.

I wish that teaching can always be enjoyable, but it’s impossible. There is always going to be tough times no matter how great a position you have or how much you love your profession or your students. Teacher, get used to it. Teaching and parenting are a lot alike in this way.

I guess we need to just keep working, loving, inspiring, disciplining, praying, challenging and teaching. Keep working to make them love learning. Enjoy the good times, and just accept that the tough times are part of the job, too. #teacherslife #lovedesk

 

What is Christmas? A day after look at the holiday

Christmas is more than just gift giving, family gatherings, song singing and Christmas eve candles. All are wonderful and special, and can actually be very spiritual. But the truest meaning of Christmas is this: that God, the very God, and there can be only one by definition, would become flesh, and visit and live among us on the earth as a real, live person. This true meaning of Christmas encompases the universe and is so grand to humanity in several important ways.

james-underwear-gift

We love gift giving…but Christmas is even greater

Christmas is grand in its reach. Christmas is for humanity across the nations. Christmas doesn’t just apply to one segment of people who are Christ followers but to all people. It is what gives humanity hope that God is available to all mankind.

Christmas is grand in it timelessness. Christmas does not only apply to the1st century through 21st century. The coming of Christ was announced in the Garden of Eden and anticipated until Christ’s birth. It has since changed the course of history, and its relevance cannot be denied. Christmas will continue to be relevant for all future eternities.

lincoln-and-his-christmas-tree

The love and wonder of our children and grandchildren is beautiful but Christmas is even grander than that

Christmas is grand in its depth. The love of Christ can touch us deep in our soul, and no soul is out of it’s reach. Christ comes calling, “I love you,” to each one of us, even to the vilest of mankind and even to the one who rejects Him.

Christmas is grand in its completion. Jesus the Christ came to earth and lived as a flesh and blood, bonafide man. Yet, he lived a perfect, sinless life. This type of life is so difficult for us to understand because it is something we are not able to do. Christ then gave up his life in death, as an atonement for the sins of all mankind. His sacrifice enables each one of us to live in peace for all eternity. Christ gives our life completion.

Christmas is transforming. This love that enters our hearts and removes our sins transforms us into a new person. Just receive it and you will see.

Let’s endeavor to know this grand reality of Christmas and share its message in words and selfless deeds. It will be your sweetest Christmas ever.

Christmas is greater in scope than we can fully comprehend and no trinket nor decoration can capture it. Christ’s love is grand in reach, timelessness, depth, completion and transformation.

emmanual-filtered

 

Real Stuff

african violet

The African violet on the shelf in my kitchen. I don’t know how or why it has bloomed and become so beautiful. I guess just the right food, light and environment and help from the Creator. True to life.

I have been writing a blog on and off for a few years. I have also been writing journal articles, sermons, lessons, etc for a long- long- time. I realize that my writing is often general, or even, more theological than practical. Now being spiritually “born-again” at the age of 23 after growing up in the inner city, a teacher of over twenty years in every type of school out there, a mom of three sons, a step-mom, and a wife of a husband with ptsd, you would think I would have a plethora of things to write about. Well, I do, but I didn’t. Instead my writing was sort of general, non-specific and safe.

But I am changing. Instead, I plan to write about the real stuff. The things that I really deal with- things that might make people laugh, wonder, smile, shake their heads, look at me a little different, or even pray for me. In sharing plainly and even specifically about things, I might encourage others and even myself at the same time. I might have an effect on other people and the way they see their own situations. I might be a factor of change and bring hope in a person’s life.  We’ll see. I certainly hope so!

Am I Ready? Please wish me luck.