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Matthew 1:1,6 “The record of the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah, the son of David, the son of Abraham…Jesse was the father of David the king. David was the father of Solomon by Bathsheba who had been the wife of Uriah.”

Proverbs 6:1-5 “My son, if you have become surety for your friend, if you have shaken hands in pledge for a stranger, you are snared by the words of your own mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth. So do this, my son, and deliver yourself; For you have come into the hand of your friend; Go and humble yourself; plead with your friend. Give no sleep to your eyes, nor slumber to your eyelids. Deliver yourself like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter, and like a bird for the hand of the fowler.”

Gazelle Intensity

Many of you may recognize this name already!! Yes, we’re huge Dave Ramsey fans. We took the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University 13 week course 3 years ago, and it honestly changed our lives.
So what does “Gazelle Intensity” mean? Well, it’s really a term Dave coined to describe the process of getting out of debt with a focused intensity. He explains it on his website:
“Gazelles are gentle creatures hunted by the fastest animal on earth, the cheetah. With the cheetah being so fast, you would think the gazelle would be extinct. However they’ve learned that the cheetah is only the fastest animal on earth while running in a straight line. So when being chased, the gazelle bobs and weaves and runs in circles until the cheetah gets tired and gives up.

It’s time to think like a gazelle. If you are a gazelle and the marketing and credit card companies are cheetahs, bob and weave and run; do whatever it takes to get away. When you get that new credit card application in the mail – you know, the one that promises low introductory interest rates and lots of bonuses – scream CHEETAH! and destroy it as quickly as you can!

You do NOT build wealth with credit cards. Use common sense. When you play with a multi-billion dollar industry and you think you’re going to win at their game, you are naive. The only way you can beat the credit card companies is to RUN and not get caught up in their tricky and deceptive games!”

Dave has a ton of verses on his site about all the Bible has to say about debt and money too. You can find those here.

“The ROMANS ROAD is a pathway you can walk. It is a group of bible verses from the book of Romans in the New Testament. If you walk down this road you will end up understanding how to be saved. “

This colorway was inspired by a Salvation Bracelet that I have. It is a visual reminder of my faith, and a way for me to share with others how to have a personal relationship with our Savior, Jesus Christ.
All the verses that go along with the bracelet can be found in the book of Romans in the Bible.

Romans 3:23 (Black=sin) “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
We all have sin in our hearts. We all were born with sin. We were born under the power of sin’s control. Admit that you are a sinner.

Romans 6:23a (Black=death) “…The wages of sin is death…”
Sin has an ending. It results in death. We all face physical death, which is a result of sin. But a worse death is spiritual death that alienates us from God, and will last for all eternity. The Bible does plainly teach that there is a place called the
Lake of Fire where lost people will be in torment forever. It is the place where people end up that remain spiritually dead.
Understand that you deserve death for your sin.

Romans 6:23b (White- cleansing in Christ) “…But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Salvation is a free gift from God to you! We can’t earn this gift, but we must reach out and receive it. Ask God to forgive you and save you.

White – When we become Christian God cleanses us from all unrighteousness and washes us whiter than snow. “But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.” 1 John 3:5″Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Isa 1:18


Romans 5:8 (Red= Christ’s Death and blood for us) “God demonstrates His own love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us!”
When Jesus died on the cross He paid sin’s penalty. He paid the cosmic price for all sin, and when He took all the sins of the world on Himself on the cross, He bought us out of slavery to sin and death! The only condition is that we believe in Him and what He has done for us, understanding that we are now joined with Him, and that He is our life. Because He loved us and gave Himself for us!

Give your life to God… His love poured out in Jesus on the cross is your only hope to have forgiveness and change. His love bought you out of being a slave to sin. His love is what saves you. Not religion, or church membership. God loves you! And reaches you right where you are.

Romans 10:13 (Blue= Faith in Christ)“Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved!” Call out to God in the name of Jesus!

Romans 10:9,10 (Blue = Faith in Christ)
“…If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
If you know that God is knocking on your heart door, ask Him to come into your heart.

Blue – One of our first acts of obedience is to publicly confess our faith through baptism “So then, those who had received his word were baptized; and there were added that day about three thousand souls..” Acts 2:41 (NASB)

Green -We must now grow as a believer in all areas of our life. Looking at Jesus as our example. “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amem.” 2 Peter 3:18 NKJ

Yellow- We now know that we can look forward to an eternity with Christ in Heaven.Colosssians 1: 4-6 “because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints – the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you.”

Jesus said, Revelation 3:20a “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him…”
Is Jesus knocking on your heart’s door?

Believe in Him. Ask Him to come in to your heart by faith, and ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Open the bible to the gospel of John and read what God says about Jesus, about you, and about being born again. God will help you. He loves you. You need to look for a local church where God’s word is preached. The bible says that we are to desire God’s word like a newborn baby desires mother’s milk.

Aren’t you hungry to know the truth?
Water baptism is one of the ways you first show that you have been joined to Jesus. The symbolism is this: When you go down in the water you show that You have been crucified and buried with Him, And when you come up out of the water you show that you have been raised to walk with Him in newness of life. (See Romans chapter 6)

You have been born again. (See John chapter 3) Your body has become God’s temple. Your heart is where He lives. Forgiveness is yours in Jesus. And you belong to Him. You were sin’s slave. But now…You are a child of GOD!

John 1:12 “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name!”

 

Colossians 2:13b-15 -” He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

As Easter approaches, I am have been thinking of my past. Going to church on Sunday, in my new Easter dress was so much fun. But as an adult, the significance of Easter has come to mean so much more. As I’ve blogged about Christ’s Death (“Crushed“), and how his death provided a way for us to freely have access to a Holy God (“Sacred Veil“), now I want to share about his resurrection.

The books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each contain an account of Jesus’s resurrection. The account in Matthew 28:1-10 is as follows:

“Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to see the tomb. Suddenly there was a great earthquake, because an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and rolled aside the stone and sat on it. His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.

Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He has been raised from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. And now, go quickly and tell his disciples he has been raised from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember, I have told you.”

The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to find the disciples to give them the angel’s message. And as they went, Jesus met them. “Greetings!” he said. And they ran to him, held his feet, and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”

 

Jesus told his disciples that he would die, but would be risen on the third day. He died on a cross, yet he triumphed over death by rising from the grave. There have been many great teachers and religious leaders in history. All of the died. Yet, only Jesus Christ died and rose again. It is his victory over death, and exceeding triumph that makes him capable of saving humanity.

Many a man has also been astounded by this amazing feat. And on Easter Sunday, in churches near and far, the people sing about it. There is an old hymn written by Charles Wesley, called “Christ the Lord is Risen Today.” (click on the link to listen to it.) I’m going to put the words here for you to read. Read them again, and look at how amazing it is that our Lord was able to conquer death.

“Christ, the Lord, is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Lo! the Sun’s eclipse is over, Alleluia!
Lo! He sets in blood no more, Alleluia!

Vain the stone, the watch, the seal, Alleluia!
Christ hath burst the gates of hell, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail, the Lord of earth and Heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail, the resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing and thus to love, Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
Unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
Who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
Sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

But the pains that He endured, Alleluia!
Our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
Now above the sky He’s King, Alleluia!
Where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
Our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
Who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
Suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!”

It is because of Jesus’s resurrection that we can shout Alleluia! He has triumphed once and for all!!

 

Exodus 26:31,33 -“Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim worked into it by a skilled craftsman. 33 Hang the curtain from the clasps and place the ark of the Testimony behind the curtain. The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place.”
Matthew 27:50-51-“And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.”

I have recently been reading through the Old Testament.  As I was reading in Exodus, I came across the description that the Lord gave to Moses regarding the building of the Temple.  I could immediately visualize the colors of the veil described there.  Then I remembered about how the veil was torn upon Christ’s death on the cross.  I went looking for a better description of this amazing event and found a wonderful website.

This site was exactly what I was looking for to share with you.

“Within the Holy Place of the tabernacle, there was an inner room called the Holy of Holies, or the Most Holy Place. Judging from its name, we can see that it was a most sacred room, a place no ordinary person could enter. It was God’s special dwelling place in the midst of His people. During the Israelites’ wanderings in the wilderness, God appeared as a pillar of cloud or fire in and above the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies was a perfect cube — its length, width and height were all equal to 15 feet.

A thick curtain separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place. This curtain, known as the “veil,” was made of fine linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn. There were figures of cherubim (angels) embroidered onto it. Cherubim, spirits who serve God, were in the presence of God to demonstrate His almighty power and majesty. They also guarded the throne of God. These cherubim were also on the innermost layer of covering of the tent. If one looked upward, they would see the cherubim figures.

The word “veil” in Hebrew means a screen, divider or separator that hides. What was this curtain hiding? Essentially, it was shielding a holy God from sinful man. Whoever entered into the Holy of Holies was entering the very presence of God. In fact, anyone except the high priest who entered the Holy of Holies would die. Even the high priest, God’s chosen mediator with His people, could only pass through the veil and enter this sacred dwelling once a year, on a prescribed day called the Day of Atonement.

The picture of the veil was that of a barrier between man and God, showing man that the holiness of God could not be trifled with. God’s eyes are too pure to look on evil and He can tolerate no sin (Habakkuk 1:13). The veil was a barrier to make sure that man could not carelessly and irreverently enter into God’s awesome presence. Even as the high priest entered the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement, he had to make some meticulous preparations: He had to wash himself, put on special clothing, bring burning incense to let the smoke cover his eyes from a direct view of God, and bring blood with him to make atonement for sins.

“But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.” (Hebrews 9:7)

So the presence of God remained shielded from man behind a thick curtain during the history of Israel. However, Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross changed that. When He died, the curtain in the Jerusalem temple was torn in half, from the top to the bottom. Only God could have carried out such an incredible feat because the veil was too high for human hands to have reached it, and too thick to have torn it. (The Jerusalem temple, a replica of the wilderness tabernacle, had a curtain that was about 60 feet in height, 30 feet in width and four inches thick.) Furthermore, it was torn from top down, meaning this act must have come from above.

As the veil was torn, the Holy of Holies was exposed. God’s presence was now accessible to all. Shocking as this may have been to the priests ministering in the temple that day, it is indeed good news to us as believers, because we know that Jesus’ death has atoned for our sins and made us right before God. The torn veil illustrated Jesus’ body broken for us, opening the way for us to come to God. As Jesus cried out “It is finished!” on the cross, He was indeed proclaiming that God’s redemptive plan was now complete. The age of animal offerings was over. The ultimate offering had been sacrificed.

We can now boldly enter into God’s presence, “the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.” (Hebrews 6:19-20)

“Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body …let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.” (Hebrews 10:19-22)

The Holy of Holies is a representation of heaven itself, God’s dwelling place, which we have access now through Christ. In Revelations, John’s vision of heaven — the New Jerusalem — also was a perfect square, just as the Holy of Holies was (Revelation 21:16).

“For Christ did not enter a man-made sanctuary that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence. Nor did he enter heaven to offer himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the Most Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. …But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:24-26) ”

For now, through the death of Christ, we have the ability to commune with a Holy God.  Thanks be to the Lord, and his visual representation of the access we now have to Him. What an amazing God!!

Deuteronomy 32:1-3 “Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!”

This blog is another guest blog spot. My friend Jessica had a specific colorway in mind, especially after reading these verses. I was more than happy to oblige her. In return, she wrote this bit- telling why these verses are meaningful to her.

“This past summer I was pregnant with our fourth daughter and my husband and I were in the process of preparing to go to France as missionaries. The pregnancy was very rough and we were without insurance. I went through a time where I was telling God how I felt and asking why things were the way they were, specifically regarding our financial situation and going to the mission field. I felt exhausted and worn out and knowing that the French are an extremely difficult group of people to reach with the Gospel I was overwhelmed with how hard this would be. After reading this passage one day in my personal time I realized that I needed to just shut up and listen to God and let His Truth refresh me. From there I also began to see that this promise is true for France (and really everywhere!), that we must be faithful in sharing the Gospel and pray that those hearing will listen and be refreshed by His Words of Dew. My part in that is two-fold: first of all I need to listen myself and secondly I need to proclaim the name of the Lord. It’s been so refreshing to come to this place of understanding! Not that I always “get it” but that I have this to hold onto. God’s Word is like fresh dew and His teaching like a gentle rain which the earth needs so desperately. Rain and dew are so simple, not contrived but natural results of the progression of nature. I want to live that way and share the Gospel that way as God’s Word should be that way in my life. Though I am still tempted at times to “inform” God that this is all too much when I sit and still my spirit reading God’s Word I am refreshed. Our plans for France have been bumped back a bit but we are still pursuing God’s call on our lives to faithfully serve.

I was drawn to Lamar’s yarns at first for their beauty but then because of the stories behind the colorways. My husband and I are both musicians that dabble a bit in the other arts, preparing to go to France to start an inner city community arts center as missionaries. I love it when God uses the every day in beautiful ways to speak to us!”

Galatians 5:22-25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.  If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22-25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:22-25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

Galatians 5:22-25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.”

“Peace” is the third in my “Fruit of the Spirit” series. The idea of peace reminds me of the idea of “peace like a river, ” which led me to think of one of my favorite hymns: “It Is Well”. You can listen to the song and read the story on Godtube.

“It Is Well”

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well with my soul

Refrain: It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come
Let this blessed assurance control
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate
And hath shed His own blood for my soul

My sin, 0 the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but in whole
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, 0 my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound and the Lord shall descend
Even so, it is well with my soul

I’ve always loved this song. The words are so powerful. But they mean so much more when you know the story behind them. In the 1870s Horatio Spafford was a successful Chicago lawyer and a close friend of evangelist Dwight L. Moody. In 1870, however, things started to go wrong. The Spaffords’ only son was killed by scarlet fever at the age of four. A year later, it was fire rather than fever that struck. Horatio had invested heavily in real estate on the shores of Lake Michigan. In 1871, every one of these holdings was wiped out by the great Chicago Fire.  Spafford and his family desperately needed a rest so in 1873 he planned a trip to Europe with his wife and four daughters. While in Great Britain he also hoped to help Moody and Sankey with their evangelistic tour. Last minute business caused Spafford to delay his departure, but he sent his wife and four daughters on the S. S. Ville Du Havre as scheduled, promising to follow in a few days. On November 22 the ship was struck by the English ship Lochearn, and it sank in twelve minutes. Several days later the survivors landed at Cardiff, Wales, and Mrs. Spafford sent a telegram to her husband with the brief message, “Saved alone.” When Horatio Spafford made the ocean crossing to meet his grieving wife, he sailed near the place where his four daughters had sunk to the ocean depths. There, in the midst of his sorrow, he wrote these unforgettable words that have brought solace to so many in grief.

You can read a much more detailed version of Spafford’s store here. In writing about the same story of the same song, Jody McBrayer from the band Avalon ends with “It is my prayer that when you and I are faced with struggles, we respond as Mr. Spafford did. With the “blessed assurance” of knowing that God is bigger than our circumstances. He is greater than our speeding tickets. He is more powerful than divorce. He is mightier than cancer or disease. Our God took into consideration all of these situations, both joyful and difficult, long before time began. Then, He sent Jesus to take those burdens from us and to renew our lives.

In Isaiah 53 it says; “…He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.”

I wish you all peace, the kind of peace that Horatio Spafford had. The peace that only comes when we trust God with every fiber of our being. Knowing deep within us that, no matter where we are in this life, no matter what answers we don’t have, no matter how difficult the path ahead may be, we can sing and truly believe “It is well, it is well with my soul.”