I'm amazed at how my Savior can take any and every circumstance around me to show me more about him. My prayer has always been that this journey of life I'm on would continually bring honor and glory to him, so by using every opportunity; my mistakes, my successes, and my day-to-day adventures, he teaches me how to use it for his glory. This life he blessed me with is ALL about him! So, these are my thoughts, my heart cries, and my lessons from his glorious Word. These are the teachable moments from my Savior!

Psalm 25:4-5 "Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."

Monday, April 18, 2016

Two Decades...there is HOPE!

Two decades...remembering today...

April 18, 1996, started off beautifully! I woke up that morning excited as I felt my son moving around in my belly. It was a glorious feeling and one that I didn't know if I would ever experience. After years of infertility and the devastating loss of my first child through miscarriage, I had reached five and a half months in my pregnancy with Ben and my dreams of becoming a mom were finally coming true! To top it off, my sister, Stephanie, was also pregnant and due any second! Excitement was in the air and lots of visions of baby booties and rocking chairs were in my head.  

Shortly after I woke up, we received the call that my sister was in labor. I could hardly wait to get to the hospital to welcome my newest niece or nephew. I was finally able to be excited about going to the maternity ward knowing that I would be there soon having my own child. 

That beautiful morning quickly turned to a horrible nightmare as the elevators doors opened and I saw my mom standing there crying. What came out of her mouth, still to this day, crushes my heart. 

"They couldn't detect the baby's heartbeat. The ultrasound shows that the baby has died." 

That phrase entered us into a heart wrenching day of grief and loss. Spending the day in the waiting room of the maternity ward is supposed to be exciting awaiting newborn cries and passing out candy cigars. This waiting room was turned into a room full of mourners questioning how this could happen.

How could the cord that is supposed to provide life in the womb to this precious baby be the very thing that takes this baby's life?

It couldn't be real. It had to be a terrible nightmare.

But it was real and we were thrust right into the middle of the nightmare. 

Walking into my sister's hospital room seeing the devastation on her face still breaks my heart. The pain and agony she endured through hours of labor only to hold her baby daughter in her arms, lifeless, seems more than anyone should bear. Instead of preparing pink bows and frilly clothes at the end of the day, we were preparing for a funeral. Instead of loading a baby seat in the car,  we were putting it away and grieving the emptiness. Instead of celebrating new life, we were mourning death. 

Hannah Sharon DeHass left this world on the day of her birth, April 18, 1996, and entered the arms of Jesus. 

So here we are, 20 years later and I remember it like it was yesterday. The pain is still there but so is the tremendous hope that I will see my niece again. I think of my sister today and her amazing strength and courage. She didn't give up.  She put her hope in the Lord. She is my hero and I love her so much!

Today, I pause in honor of my sweet niece, Hannah, and picture her twirling around in a beautiful dress on the streets of glory. I see her happy and whole as she runs straight into the arms of her Jesus...her Abba...her Daddy! 

Happy Birthday, sweet girl! Aunt Alli loves you! 

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 
Matthew 19:14

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Day Before Resurrection...

I was up early this morning. It was early for a Saturday when I could have been sleeping and believe me, I didn't intend to get up that early. Lol! But the Holy Spirit has a way of nudging me out of the bed when there is something I need to see in scripture or prayers that need to be lifted. This morning it was by way of my dog that needed to go out. Usually he doesn't budge until I do but today....not-so-much.

This morning I sat there in my kitchen in complete silence. It was dark from rain that came through our area and I had just the kitchen light on because I didn't want to wake the rest of the family. My loyal dog, Louie, of course was at my feet when he came back in because he follows me from room to room. I sat at the kitchen table that is usually occupied by our sweet family during mealtimes. It's usually covered with food as lots of talk and laughter are going on. Sometimes it's covered with schoolbooks as the kids will spread out to work on academics. But this morning it was empty other than my opened Bible and my cup of coffee, oh and Caleb's "Duck Dynasty" cup half-full of water he apparently left from last night. Ha!

This morning it was quiet and I just soaked in His Word! I sat in the silence to just be still before HIM...my Father! I'm thankful the Holy Spirit disturbed my sleep this morning because reading through the gospels after they rolled the stone in front of the tomb had my mind thinking of the next day. How were they coping on that Sabbath? They just buried their King. Guards secured the location and nothing could be done until the Sabbath was over. Mary Magdalene couldn't even buy her spices to prepare her King's body until Sabbath was over. So what was going on in their hearts and minds that day?

Well, I can only imagine because scripture is silent here. Were they still in shock from the prior events that unfolded? They just saw Jesus stand trial unjustly and be horribly crucified before their eyes. They saw his lifeless body placed in a tomb. Their grief and sadness were probably overwhelming and I'm sure there was fear and uncertainty. Were they overcome with emotion because it was their sin that put him there? Did they realize the depth of love that was crucified for them?

I sit and ponder....

Jesus had told them what would happen! Jesus had been preparing them, before His death, of what would be to come. Grief and sadness, questions and pain could not last long because Sunday was coming! Hope would arise and death would be defeated! Jesus would come forth...JUST AS HE PROMISED! Hallelujah!!

“Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.”
Mark 10:33-34 (NKJV)

Today, as we prepare to celebrate the events that DID take place on that glorious resurrection day, my heart is filled with so much gratitude to my Savior. He did ALL of that for ME! He did it ALL for YOU! He conquered death and the grave and paid the ultimate sacrifice for MY sin...for YOUR sin. He marked it PAID IN FULL!

"Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said."
1 Corinthians 15:3b-4 (NLT)

Read the story today! Read it for yourselves! Read the gospels account in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John! The greatest love story of all time is recorded right there in those beautiful pages of scripture. The greatest sacrifice that could ever be made but also the greatest outcome that no Hollywood movie could ever grasp on the big screen. It's the love story of a Savior to YOU! Prepare today!

Read it...grasp it...accept it...celebrate it...and go forth in the will of the Father!

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. "

John 14:6 (NIV)

Friday, March 25, 2016

It's Friday BUT Sunday is Coming!

Listening to the sound of the thunder this morning and my mind goes to the cross. At the moment Jesus gave up His spirit to the hands of the Father, the ground shook and the veil was torn. That's right, it was finished! He paid the price for my sin. He took the penalty for me.

Good Friday...because of what my Jesus did for me. The wages were paid. The agony of the cross was finished. All because of His love for me and my need of a Savior. Grace poured out! So, today I fall on my face in complete surrender to the One who loves me so...

“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, the rocks split”
Matthew 27:50-51 NIV

“So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.”
Mark 15:46 NIV

But that's not the end of the story. The cross...the tomb... it was not the end because Sunday was coming!


Hallelujah!


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Holy Thursday

Passion week continues...

Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday...the day before Jesus' death when He shared Passover, the Last Supper, with His disciples, washed their feet as an act of humility and service, and gave them this command....

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 (NIV)

He knew His time had come to do the will of His Father and yet He took this beautiful moment to share what love and service is with His disciples. He took time to share hope and meaning. May we follow the example of service and humility of our Savior and obey his command to love God and others.

"Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him."
John 13:3-5 (NIV)

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
John 14:6 (NIV)

His time had come. So much wisdom and love in these last moments with His disciples. This important time needs our attention. Let's read and pray over all that Jesus shared with them as we continue to prepare our hearts for Easter. Such blessed hope! Hallelujah!

“I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

“Do you now believe?” Jesus replied. “A time is coming and in fact has come when you will be scattered, each to your own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

John 16:28, 31-33 (NIV)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Betrayal...The Cross Was Coming

Passion week continues....

Betrayal - "an act of deliberate disloyalty," "helping an enemy"

Judas betrays Jesus....for money

“Then one of the Twelve—the one called Judas Iscariot—went to the chief priests and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver. From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over.”
Matthew 26:14-16 (NIV)

Jesus knew this was going to happen. He speaks about it at the supper table later with His disciples. One of those that closely walked with Him betrayed Him...for money. Judas knew how much Jesus loved Him but he did it anyway.

This passage grieves my hearts...

"From then on Judas watched for an opportunity to hand him over."
Verse 16


That was just the beginning. More betrayal. More hurt. The cross was coming.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Alabaster Jar

Passion week continues and I read... and pray... and prepare....

The alabaster jar....

"She did what she could." 
Mark 14:8

What a beautiful lesson in humility, honor, devotion and love.

“While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head. Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly. “Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.”

Mark 14:3-9 (NIV)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday Struggles...Encouragement for YOU!

Good Monday morning!

Anyone out there struggling today??? Well, lift the praise up to Jesus where it belongs and sing!

This song is for anyone struggling, going through a trial or anyone who has ever been through one. I get it! I've been through quite a few in my 42 years but each and every time I have drawn closer to the Lord and my faith & trust in Him has been strengthened. He loves me and HE is my JOY!

So for those of you struggling on this Monday, crank up the volume and get your praise on. God loves you and He is for YOU!

This has become a new favorite of mine by Meredith Andrews! Take a look at these lyrics then crank it up!

"Every valley made me lift my eyes up
Every burden only made me stronger
Every sorrow only made Your joy go
Deeper and deeper, deeper, and deeper
Every mountain is making me a climber
Every giant is calling out a fighter
Every heartache only makes Your love go
Deeper and deeper, deeper, and deeper
Thrown down but not defeated
I’m worn out but not giving up
I’ve hit ground but even at rock bottom

I’m just getting started, yea, I’m just getting started"

Click the link below: